30th January

Befitting a pleasantly mild and bright day a group of 9 Long-tailed Tits got wanderlust today and strayed out as far as the Obs garden for the first time this year. Otherwise it was all much the same as usual with 2 Red-throated Divers through off the Bill, several Purple Sandpipers, 4 Turnstones, the Black Redstart and the Cetti's Warbler still at the Bill and at least 9 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Eider, 3 Common Scoter and 2 Slavonian Grebes in Portland Harbour.

To stave off some sort of finger atrophy we did open one mist-net in the Obs garden for the first time this year when the Long-tailed Tits appeared there and even fluked a few of them. There was a time when we'd have quite often opened some nets at this time of year and usually caught a steady trickle of new Greenfinches but since their demise - there hasn't been a single one logged at the Bill yet this year - pretty well all the garden inhabitants are already ringed and we certainly don't want to hassle them for no good reason © Martin Cade: