3rd January

Quiet again today, with a raw northeasterly compounding the misery for anyone tempted to stay out too long in the vain hope of reward. The Rosy Starling remained at Easton, single Blackcaps were in gardens at the Grove and on the Verne Common Estate - with a Black Redstart also visiting the latter - 13 Common Scoter and 10 Red-throated Divers passed through off the Bill and the 3 Redpolls were still at the Bill.

The 3 (Lesser) Redpolls are the first that have ever attempted to overwinter at the Bill - two of them are the individuals that turned up with the Arctic Redpoll back in mid-November; they look to be sustaining themselves mainly on the tiny seeds of whatever the goosefoot species is that springs up prolifically in our maize patches at the Bill (we used to think it's Fat Hen and have now forgotten what we've been told is in fact its correct identity) © Martin Cade:

It'd be interesting to know just how many Blackcaps winter on the island - the vast majority of those that we're aware of each winter are in private gardens and there are surely going to be plenty more that we never get to hear about; this one is visiting a garden on the Verne Common Estate © Trevor Felstead: