I gave the new year celebrations a miss, and was in bed and asleep by 11:00, I wanted to be up early for the 1st birding day of the new year, anyway, I think I did enough celebrating in my younger years to last a lifetime!
As usually happens on the new years day walk round, my excitement gets rapidly down toned! I was out at 07:30, and was actually waiting for the birds to get up! The first bird to do so was a BLACKBIRD, alarm calling, then a ROBIN, then a WOODPIGEON..........and the list of common birds got longer. I made sure I was over in the tree nursery to see the LINNETS leave their roost, as once they have left, they don't hang about on my patch, whilst I was there I also wanted to get the BARN OWL down on the list, fortunatley it was at home. Over at Migrant alley I picked up LAPWING, MEADOW PIPIT, and KESTREL, a few moments later a SPARROWHAWK came over, and seemed to be in it's display flight.
At the college stream 30 SISKIN were feeding in the alders, with the usual GOLDFINCH'S and in the college grounds, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and MISTLE THRUSH took the list into the high 30's.
Over at the lake area the ice still hadn't completely thawed and little was seen, apart from MALLARDS and MOORHENS, although a GREY HERON flew over. If I'm to make an early impression on the record January list of 62, set last year, I'm going to need the lake defrosted!
I picked up TREECREEPER in the wet woods, and the wild bird crop at the west end of Ashes lane gave me a REED BUNTING, a good species to get early on, last year I got this species on new years day, and didn't see another until September!
So I ended my walk on 44 species, and picked up a further 2 at my garden feeders, COAL TIT and MARSH TIT. The latter is a good one for my list, as the two birds on my patch will leave in the spring to breed, and there is no gaurantee that they will return next Autumn.
My target this year ? Well, it is of course to beat the 106 set last year! However I think I'll do well if I can reach the 100 mark, which seems more realistic!
Sorry no pics today - the weather was cold and grey, and few photo chances came my way.