1st January 2023

Not that it came as as too much of a shock after several days of relentless wind and rain but the year got off to an exciting start on the sea, with singles of Leach's Petrel off the Bill and Storm Petrel in both Chesil Cove and Portland Harbour the pick of the morning watches; 5 Red-throated Divers, 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Dark-bellied Brent, a Manx Shearwater, a Curlew and a Little Gull also passed through off the Bill where at least 50 Common Scoter were still settled offshore, whilst the same 4 Pale-bellied Brents and single Dark-bellied Brent along with 5 Common Scoter, 2 Little Gulls and singles of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and Velvet Scoter passed by or lingered at Chesil Cove. Also from the water, a new Sandwich Tern pitched up at Ferrybridge and 5 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Great Northern Divers, 3 Eider and singles of Red-necked Grebe, Gannet, Common Scoter and Kittiwake were in Portland Harbour. In improving conditions - at least until there was an inevitable return of some light rain during the afternoon - the land got some attention, with the Cirl Bunting again on show at Reap Lane, 12 Purple Sandpipers and the continuing Cetti's Warbler still at the Bill, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest in private gardens at Easton, one of the other Cetti's Warblers still at Castletown and single Black Redstarts at Blacknor and Portland Castle.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was on the wing at Easton.

Nowhere near as frequent in mid-winter in these parts as, for example, in nearby Poole Harbour the Sandwich Tern was a nice New Year arrival at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders: