I love New Years Day; up early and out the door with everything feeling new. This year I left the car keys behind and set off on foot as the darkness slowly made way to a murky gloom, nine hours and 13 miles later I returned home, shattered but having enjoyed every minute of the day. Despite the brisk breeze the weather was good and it was nice to finally see some sunshine!
I'm sure the festive fireworks from last night's celebrations meant that a few of my 'pinned down' birds had departed - Mute Swans, Shovelers and Coot - all difficult birds in Penrhyn Bay but present over the last few weeks and all there yesterday. However, no sign anywhere today! I can't complain too much though as I managed to log a total of 74 species in the area including the following highlights;
Lapland Bunting - I saw this bird a few weeks ago but haven't seen it since, so I was thrilled that today in showed well as it flew around the middle stubble field between Glanwydden and Rhos on Sea Golf course with some twenty Skylark. If you go and look, take your wellies!
Water Rail - at least 7 birds logged along Glanwydden Lane. Surely a site record.
Purple Sandpiper - 11 logged at Rhos on Sea, 1 at Rhos Point and 1 at Penrhyn Bay.
Brambling - at least one in the stubble fields at Glanwydden.
Other nice January 'local' records included several Grey Wagtails, Kestrel, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Knot, Grey Plover, several Kittiwake, Fulmar, Red throated Diver, several Rock Pipit, Guillemots, Razorbills, Stock Doves and 20+ Reed Buntings.
Still several birds to get on the patch over the next month of foot it challenge - jay, peregrine, Red breasted Merg, Woodcock, Owls, Marsh Tit, Chough, Little Grebe, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll all up for grabs and hopefully Shoveler, Mute Swan and Coot will all make a return now the celebrations have calmed down.