10th February

In increasingly pleasant conditions nearly all of the routine wintering fixtures put in appearances, with the best of the bunch at the Bill being 7 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Firecrests and singles of Black Redstart and Blackcap; the sea was very quiet, with 5 Black-headed Gulls - the first there for a while - being the only minor oddities. Elsewhere, both Sandwich Terns remained in Portland Harbour where diver and grebe numbers dropped back from yesterday's levels.

Red-breasted Merganser, Sandwich Tern and Short-eared Owl - Portland Harbour and Southwell, 10th February 2016 © Debby Saunders (RbMerganser) and Pete Saunders (Sandwich Tern and SEOwl)

And as bit of historic interest, whilst looking for something else we happened across a video tape that probably hadn't seen the light of day this century. Way back in the early days of the Obs, the late Angela Hughes filmed the gradual transformation of the dilapidated Old Lower Lighthouse into the sparkling new premises of the then recently established PBO (we're guessing that the majority of the footage here was filmed in 1960); although there's been a considerable loss in quality during the transfer of Angela's cine-film to VHS tape and then our rendering of that into something digital, it's still a great little piece of archive film: