Happy New Birding Year to you all. Thank you once again for all your comments. They do mean so much, and remind me that people are actually looking and enjoying the posts I put on here. I hope to bring you lots more this year.
I started the year off nice and early. Well as early as the sun would allow. It's the worst thing about the winter months for me. I much prefer to be out at 5am and get a good few hours in before the world wakes up. Hey ho, roll on Summer. There were some really good birds around too, and lots of them quite local. That said, I headed to the Wirral to give the new year list a real boost. I started at Shotwick to tick a fairly long staying Long-tailed Duck. It's usually a bird I have to make a special effort for each year, so thought I'd get it out of the way early.
I found it fairly quickly, on what was quite a substantial bit of water. On my way back to the car, I was escorted by a pair of Stonechats. Cracking little birds, and always a joy to see them.
The Long-tailed Duck on the right, with a Tufted Duck on the left. It kept it's distance, so no more than a record shot.
I headed up to Wallasey where there were reports of 5 Snow Buntings on the beach and dunes. When I arrived it was absolutely manic with people on the beach. I thought there was no way they'd still be around, but these were the most tolerant birds ever. They just took off and later a few feet away each time they were disturbed. Gloomy light by this time unfortunately, so the shots are not too good.