11th February

A mini arrival of Redwings - a total of 9 trickled through at the Obs from dawn - didn't really qualify as a fall but at least gave us heart that spring passage really is getting underway. There was precious little else to give encouragement with an otherwise typically samey selection from the Bill including nothing better than the 40 Common Scoter offshore, 3 Red-throated Divers through and 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Chiffchaffs and the Cetti's Warbler on the land. The millpond calm waters of Portland Harbour were populated with 58 Red-breasted Mergansers, 13 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Black-necked Grebes and 4 Eider but seemingly no divers at all.

A party of 30 or so Common Dolphins lingered offshore around midday.

Today was staggeringly calm, to the extent that this evening the view across Portland Harbour resembled something akin to a Whistler Nocturne on steroids. The vista also begged the question as to whether all those lights are entirely necessary - there probably aren't many moths straying across from the mainland at this time of year but if there were the chances of any getting past this phalanx of illuminations and making it out to the Obs moth-traps must be slim indeed © Martin Cade: