3rd January

Another lovely sunny day albeit with a pretty cutting breeze springing up during the afternoon. Very wide coverage unearthed few surprises but a good many of the established winterers put in appearances. Ten Common Scoter, 7 Eiders, 5 Brent Geese, 2 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver passed through off the Bill where 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Purple Sandpipers and a Redwing were knocking about on the land. Odds and ends on the land elsewhere included Goldcrests at Pennsylvania Castle (2) and Easton and another Black Redstart at Chesil Cove, whilst the day's Portland Harbour selection included 11 each of Black-necked Grebe and Goosander, 3 Eider and a Great Northern Diver.

One of the recent Short-eared Owls © Pete Saunders:

As regular visitors to the island will be aware, due to repeated instances of poor behaviour by birders and photographers - notably of the birds being deliberately flushed from their daytime roost sites - we've taken a conscious decision not to provide daily updates here or on Twitter of the presence or otherwise of wintering Short-eared Owls. These birds are about and we've got no desire to deprive responsible visitors of the opportunity to see them; however, if you are looking out for them please stick strictly to the footpaths or established dog-walking tracks - there's always going to be someone who feels he has to wander off into a private field but it really isn't necessary:

The birds are rarely seen before late afternoon but during the last hour or so of fine days they've often been showing nicely. The viewing of them has become a bit of a circus so don't be surprised if you have to fight your way through the long lenses to get a view: