23rd February

Although gusty southerlies made for difficult birding there were a few more early arrivals to show for today's efforts: the season's first White Wagtail showed up at the Bill, whilst new Chiffchaffs were at Southwell and Blacknor; the Ferrybridge Lesser Black-backed Gull total also reached double figures for the first time this year, a Merlin passed through there and 2 more Rooks headed south towards the island. Among the winterers, the Rosy Starling was at Easton, 7 Purple Sandpipers, a Merlin and Black Redstart at the Bill and 3 Black-necked Grebes in Portland Harbour. The only sea news was of a lone Red-throated Diver through off the Bill.

It's been a very good winter for Merlin sightings, with a regular bird around the south of the island and several sightings of additional singles elsewhere including this one over Ferrybridge this morning © Pete Saunders: