15th December

With most of the heavy showers evident further out in the Channel missing the island there were plenty of opportunities for some fieldwork today even if the rewards were largely as in recent days. One of the Eider remained off the Bill where another 3 Red-throated Divers passed by and there was again an impressive gathering of routine wintering seabirds; a least 1 Black Redstart was also still at the Bill and the wintering Chiffchaff was still at Southwell. Elsewhere, the Rosy Starling was at Easton, a Slavonian Grebe joined the spread of other divers and grebes - that again included 2 Black-throated Divers and a Red-necked Grebe - in Portland Harbour and 2 Shelducks were at Ferrybridge where singles of Great Northern Diver and Kittiwake also passed through.

The Brent Geese are always a spectacle at Ferrybridge even if the flock there is often only a small portion of the much higher numbers present further up the Fleet. Although taken for granted these days, it's amazing to recollect that only a little over 40 years ago Brents were far less numerous on the Fleet: the writer of these notes can well remember in his junior days bumping into Charlie Richards who'd just that day counted his first ever 100+ total of Brents at Littlesea - hardly a decade passed before the winter flock had reached 6000! © Pete Saunders:

Black Redstart, Turnstone and Oystercatcher on East Cliffs at the Bill © Geoff Orton: