11th February

Still very cold, to the extent that there were even a few flakes of snow in the air for the first couple of hours of the day. The Hume's Warbler showed up at Thumb Lane at least once during the afternoon, whilst a Slavonian Grebe was a notable arrival in Portland Harbour (they've been inexplicably absent from there pretty well all winter). Offshore, auks were very conspicuous through the morning when sample counts suggested they were passing the Bill at around 6000 an hour; a lone Red-throated Diver also passed through there. Other sightings included singles of Purple Sandpiper and Black Redstart at the Bill, a Black Redstart and a Blackcap at Southwell and 3 Black-necked Grebes in Portland Harbour.

We keep forgetting to mention that a few days ago we received from Dr Martin Collinson at the University of Aberdeen the results on our three putative Siberian Lesser Whitethroats from last October; mtDNA extracted from feather samples indicated that all three birds were indeed blythi Lesser Whitethroats - as usual, many thanks to Martin for undertaking this work.