My birding year kicked off with a day at Rutland Water in Leicestershire. Some good birds were seen during the day including 2 juvenile Shag; a Red-necked, 2 Slavonian and 2 Black-necked Grebes; a Great Northern Diver; a drake American Wigeon; 5 Smew; a female Scaup; a Jack Snipe and a Snow Bunting. The year list was on 69 at the end of the day.
Various trips to my local patch at Staunton Harold Reservoir helped to get my site year list off the ground and at the same time added a few year ticks. The highlights being 5 Gadwall; a Little Egret; a Grey Wagtail; Goldcrest; Filedfare; Redwing and Long-tailed Tit.
On 5th January I made a visit to Welney Wildfowl Reserve in Norfolk. A superb day with lots of Whooper Swan; small numbers of Bewick Swan; a drake Ring-necked Duck and over 400 Black-tailed Godwit roosting on one of the mere islands. A small flock of Tree Sparrow were on the feeders by the cafe and there were well over 700 Pochard in front of the main hide.
On 6th January I went back to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve at Willington, to try my luck again with the Kingfisher. A few more year ticks were picked up, in addition to Kingfisher, with Cetti’s Warbler; Water Rail; Common SNipe and Reed Bunting
A Dusky Warbler had been discovered at nearby Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire. Only a 45 minute drive from home so worth making the effort to see this Siberian warbler. Usually only seen in autumn as a rare migrant, so one inland is a real MEGA.
It was typically skulking and despite good views through the binoculars, I never did get a photo of it. A fine drake Red-crested Pochard on one of the lakes was some compensation. My year list was on 99.