A wet and windy walk around Plymouth Hoe on Boxing Day had me cursing as I had left my binoculars at home and a Slavonian grebe was diving close to the shore with a shag before flying off towards the River Tamar.
A further wet and windy walk around Burrator reservoir on the 28th December wasn't too productive either but at least I had my binoculars with me this time. 2 ravens flew over and at least 2 marsh tits were seen feeding in a mixed tit flock but there were no goosanders, probably due to the very high water level (water was flowing over the dam, the first time I have seen this for quite some time now) and the fact it was Midday and too early for them to come in to roost.
Burrator Reservoir Dam
Muscovy x mallard? hybrid duck at Burrator
My first day in the New Year for a birding trip was the 4th January and I headed off to Ernesettle Creek in Plymouth to have a look for the lesser yellowlegs that is still being seen there. On arrival there were quite a few birders around looking for it, a chatty and pleasant bunch, and I was quickly pointed on to it feeding in its usual place upriver from the slipway. It was feeding with 2 greenshanks and a few redshanks and gave some good views despite the dull and flat light.
Other birds of note on the Creek were at least 30 black tailed godwits feeding on the mudflats and 2 adult common gulls roosting amongst the gulls. There was no sign of any recently reported spotted redshanks though.
Heading down the Creek to the River Tamar and a nice surprise was a flock of around 60 avocets feeding along the waterline, my first Plymouth avocets. Also on the River were quite a few great crested grebes and a male and 2 female/brownhead red breasted mergansers.
Avocets on the River Tamar from Ernesettle Creek
All in all not a bad start to the Year list!