4th December

We seem to have slipped into the barren and extremely bleak mid-winter with alarming speed. The Rosy Starling - that'll hopefully be a stalwart on the day-lists throughout the winter - was still at Easton, a Knot was at Ferrybridge and the Merlin was still at the Bill where a Great Northern Diver passed through on the sea; otherwise the only reports were of winter staples including the odd Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests here and there and a scatter of divers and grebes in Portland Harbour.

With the temperature having plummeted some of the lingering Goldcrests must be wondering if they've made the right move by sticking it out here rather than heading away west or south © Pete Saunders:

Although Little Owls appear to have become quite tricky to catch up with in much of Dorset, at Portland they're still well distributed and seemingly quite numerous - just at the moment there are multiple individuals audible from the Obs at night and, for better or worse, they're an almost constant presence on our nocmig recordings. It was so calm a couple of nights ago that we spent a while out with the thermal camera having a look at what some of them were up to - the soundtrack of this little clip is an edit from the nocmig recording that was running at the same time but isn't in sync with what's happening in the video. Before anyone asks, we're not sure what the bird is that we followed as it flew past - the real-time view with the thermal camera is a lot crisper than the video capture and we thought the bird had a long bill and was presumably a wader of some sort but it was too far away to be sure © Martin Cade: