1st January

Not the most auspicious of starts to the new year, what with half the day being written off by the arrival of belting rain being driven through on a gale force southwesterly. However, the morning had been perfectly birdable with a fly-by Caspian Gull along the north side of Portland Harbour (...perhaps only tenuously a 'Portland' sighting but we'll take anything at the moment) easily the day's highlight. The customary selection of divers and grebes in the harbour again included singles of Black-throated Diver and Slavonian Grebe, whilst 2 each of Mute Swan and Shelduck at Ferrybridge were newcomers. Long-stayers making the list included single Black Redstarts at the Bill and the Osprey Quay, whilst the 30 Greenfinches remained on station at Ferrybridge.

The overhead comings and goings of divers at Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour are always worth attention; today it was a Great Northern...

...whilst a couple of days ago it was a Red-throated putting on a show © Pete Saunders:

Who'd have thought that one day we'd get to the point that a flock of Greenfinches merited a mention on 1st January - or even that it should be felt necessary to put seed out for them lest they up sticks and head off elsewhere © Pete Saunders: