16th January

Blue skies and millpond calm - just for once a day of perfect mid-winter birding conditions. Despite much of the coverage on the land being directed toward watching/photographing the Short-eared Owls and other established winterers, there were a few additions on the list by the end of the day: 9 Long-tailed Tits at Southwell were pretty noteworthy for recent times (reports from the south of the island have got very infrequent in the last year or so), a Snipe in Top Fields was a first for the year and a Firecrest at the Grove was a first for that area so far this winter. Regulars putting in appearances included 6 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Firecrests, the Dartford Warbler and the Blackcap at the Bill. The sea came up with 13 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver through off the Bill and at least 6 Black-necked Grebes and 4 Great Northern Divers in Portland Harbour.