3rd January

Thus far, it's the sea that's come up with this year's surprises and that remained the case today as the return of wind and rain saw the discovery of a lingering Grey Phalarope at Chesil Cove. Although the sea - particularly off the Bill - was very busy with routine fare the only other storm-driven strays were a couple of Kittiwakes in Portland Harbour; 3 more passing Red-throated Divers were the pick off the Bill, with 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-necked Grebe still in Portland Harbour. Not surprisingly, the continuing Cetti's Warbler at the Bill constituted the only report from the land.

A lone Rusty-dot Pearl at the Grove was the first trap-caught migrant moth of the year.

Our attempts at record-shots of the Grey Phalarope with a variety of kiddie cameras were of course toying with defying the laws of physics but you sort of get the idea of what a tiny pelagic wader bobbing about like a cork in the surf hundreds of metres away in gale-blown drizzle and under a leaden sky might have looked like © Martin Cade:

One of the Great Northern Divers was showing nicely at much closer range in Portland Harbour © Pete Saunders: