The final bird to make it onto my year list was the Red-breasted merganser. This bird seen at West Kirby marine lake took my total for the year to 181 different bird species seen, beating my previous best total by 6 from last year.
A common visitor to the UK coastline in the winter months, this is only the second time that I have actually come across one. Just shows you what you can find if you put your mind to it.
I was aware that a few of these were around the Wirral, so I made a special visit to see them. Great looking diving ducks with a nice spiky hair do and serrated bill to help with their diet of mainly salmon and trout.
Pictured here is the female. Quite similar to the female Goosander in clolouration and overall appearance. Unfortunately it was yet another dull grey day, so the colours are not great.
Still it pushed my year total up, so I'm happy with that. I now have a new target to beat in 2016.
I wish you all a Happy New Year. Here's hoping it's a great one! :-)