When the London Olympics was announced, 2012 seemed like ages away. It's here now, where does all the time go?
Anyway, two days of birding to kick the year off with. New Years Day started at Dimmingsdale of all places. Why's that, because I forgot to mention the other week, there's a few Bramblings round there, so that would be a good start. There was still at least one female Brambling still around.
Brookleys Lake was a bit quiet, with generally fewer duck around but 6 Goosander were noteworthy. Last time I checked Uttoxeter Quarry was the day after Boxing Day and was rather disappointing. But today was much better, lots more duck around including a good count of 80 Teal, 30 Goosander, a female Pintail and 2 Goldeneye.
But best of all, and reward for persistence, was a Pink-footed Goose in amongst the Canadas and Greylags. Not quite the wild goose I was hoping for, that would be a Bean, but just be grateful for small mercies.
Finishing off at the Blithfield deep end, but beaten by the weather at this stage. Just too wet and windy for the Black Redstart to show, but it can wait for another day. And in any case it was great to catch up with Team Staley! Using the little shelter in St. Stephens Bay to check the gulls, nothing unusual out on the water. A new year but still jinxing the Blithfield gull roost!
As for today. Building up a new list of common species, may as well do that around home. So I've checked a number of different spots in and around Tean and Cheadle. The main highlight being a Water Rail and a Kingfisher at Hales Hall Pool. Last year, it took me until July to see Kingfisher and August to see Water Rail. This year I've seen both on the second day of the year, which gives an indication of just how harsh last winter was.