Here we are the start of a new year for my bird watching journal. I started last year on the 1st of January and took you right through the year with us. I really enjoy writing this journal and it is very handy for me personally if I want to check something out.
As we always do on the 1st day of a New Year if it is at all possible we take a trip out. Yesterday was no exception. We were up and away by 10am for a trip to Birnie Loch. This as you know is a favourite of ours in any season. When we arrived yesterday it was very busy and we thought we had little chance of seeing very much but we were in dire need of some exercise and fresh air so we set of for the walk around the two lochs. Gaddon is first usual common ducks on the water, free from ice most unusual at this time of year. The wind that had caused havoc on Hogmanay had abated to a very cold westerly. At the high point on this loch it was freezing and I had to cover my head something I hate to do (ruins my hair). After Gaddon Loch you drop down to Birnie Loch a much more shelter loch surrounded by trees. Kind walkers supply nuts and suet balls at certain points along the footpath and the little birds just love this. We noticed yesterday that Long Tailed Tits have managed to get the hang of these feeding stations along with the Blue Great and Coal Tits. Again on this loch were the usual ducks Tufted Goldeneye Mallard Gooseander. When we were just about back to the car we saw a flock of about 50-60 Siskins feeding on the beechmast by the side of the path it was a great sight. Just as we started off again about 10 yards along we stopped to look at a Redpoll and somemore Siskins. Suddenly there was great excitement Stuart spotted a Water Rail feeding just in front of us about 10 yards away we stood and watched it for about 10 minutes. This is a very timid bird and usually stays hidden in the waterside weed and rushes. During this time an elderly gentleman joined us but he had not seen this bird until Stu pointed it out to him. He was absolutely over the moon he said he had no seen one since he was a boy and today had been the perfect start to his year as it was ours. A great start has been made and I hope it can continue. Total for this year or today 40 not bad at all.