As usual the New Year started off with a bit of window watching and in the last seven days the garden list has already risen to a decent total of 18 species. House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Blue, Great and Coal Tit, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Robin, Magpie, Starlings, Parakeets, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Siskin and a Lesser Redpoll plus a very brief fly through by a Sparrowhawk.
House Sparrow waiting its turn for a meal.
Just four of the 30 Black-headed Gulls that circled above the garden for an hour or so.
On 2nd Jan we travelled to Kent to meet up with friends and paid a visit to Dungeness RSPB and clocked up around 50 species including Goosander, Smew, Goldeneye, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier and two Bitterns in flight - one crashed into the reed bed 50 yards in front of us and disappeared! The light was poor so the camera stayed in the bag most of the day but here are two shots taken in late December.
Female (Red-head) Smew.
A brief stroll alongside the Wey Navigation on 4th Jan produced tantalising views of several Little Grebes as they constantly dived to feed and always reappeared in the shadows on the far side of the water! Activity on the lake was mainly Coot, Tufted Duck and a few Mallards plus numerous Canada Geese on the grazing meadow with the usual large roost of gulls (Black-headed, Common and Great Black-backed).
Adult Little Grebe in winter plumage.
Male Tufted Duck.
Coot - admiring its own image.
A visit to Barnes WWT on 5th and my first local patch walk today added a few more sightings bringing the month total up to 68. Interesting to note that in previous years a visit to the coast on the 1st Jan regularly exceeded this figure in just one day! FAB.