Breezy, cool westerly winds, bright sunshine.
I rarely get out on Jan 1st as the family expect to spend the day together, so I read a few blogs last night of the birds seen by others. Today my wife was working all day, so I had the chance to get out for some fresh air. However, as the years go by I enjoy less and less the crowds of people that gather at Reculver. I understand everyone wants to get out and excercise and enjoy the outdoors, but I still remember the days when I was a lad, hardly anyone walked there in the cold of winter. Now, weekends and bank holidays in particular, the car park is full and there's no chance of peace and quiet. And if the sun is shining...
I squeezed into one of the few spaces available at the towers car park, and remaining calm and chilled I set off east past the towers. Quite a few gulls were flying west, mostly 'immature' Herring Gulls, and little else. Not a single passerine or wader on the shore, unsurprising as many dogs were running along the beach. Cormorants and a single large auk were seen distantly, and a few Brent flew west. Before i even reached the end of the oyster farm I gave up and walked quickly back to the car. Even the many cyclists out today were struggling to make good headway, with so many families out walking, as well as dogs and joggers weaving between the crowds. Aaargh.
I drove inland and found somewhere of my own for a while. Quietly I crept up to where 2 Bewick's Swans have been seen, and trying not to disturb the birds I pointed my lens through some hawthorns and took a few photos.
Feeling very relaxed I headed home. As I walked in the garden gate I noticed a Blue Tit fly up from the pond, where it had obviously been bathing by the look of it's feathers. It spent ages preening and fluffing itself up, presumably trying to dry out as quick as possible. I have quite a bit of food out every day, and I would guess this Blue Tit nust have been well fed already, or surely it would have been making the most of the last hor or so to be feeding actively with all the other birds?
Late in the day I noticed 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the garden, and one of them hung around long enough for a couple of pictures.