12th December

An unexpectedly fulsome list from what started out as an uninspiringly dreary and drizzly but very mild day. New arrivals included 2 Blackcaps and a few extra Blackbirds at the Bill, 2 Redwings and a Fieldfare at Southwell, 8 more Redwings north over Blacknor and 4 Eider in Portland Harbour; the Goosander tally at Ferrybridge also crept up to what looks to be an island-record total of 16. As often, Ferrybridge returned the best of the numbers including 1500 Dark-bellied Brents, 2 Pale-bellied Brents, the Black Brant and 16 Bar-tailed Godwits; winterers dotted about elsewhere included 28 Linnets, 5 Turnstones and 2 Purple Sandpipers at the Bill, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Sweethill and a Black Redstart at Blacknor. The sea remained conspicuously empty of the customary mid-winter quantities of auks and the like but 7 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver did pass through off the Bill.

The milder air didn't arrive until late in the night and immigrant moth interest consisted of just 1 Silver Y at the Obs.

Despite the late date it was hard to believe that the Blackcaps were anything other than freshly arrived (central European?) migrants - both appeared within a few minutes of each other and were the first Blackcaps logged at the Obs for more than three weeks: