Firstly Happy New Year to everyone and good hunting for 2013!
We celebrated New Years Eve up in Cheshire at Jo & Jimmy's, so had the bonus of their busy back Garden on New Years day to start the 2013 list before heading off to Southport to take our first look at Marshside RSPB
Firstly as I think I may have mentioned before Jo & Jimmy live on the River Weaver near Winsford and get a good variety of Birds visiting the Garden and swimming by the front window although the river was very quiet on New Years Day with just Moorhen, Mallard and a few BHGs flying around.
The garden was much better with 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in at the same time, a Jay, Long Tailed, Great, Blue and Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Magpie and of course Woodpigeon.
I managed a few photos of some of the visitors through the windows:
The reserve runs along the coast road not far out of Southport going north, There is a free RSPB car park on this Road, which is the center point of the reserve. We parked up and walked back along the road past a couple of screens about 600m to the Nel's Hide, there was a good amount of duck and other waterfowl about, so a nice start to the New Year: (the light was going so not many photo's)
Sp as you can see lots of lovely Pintail (30+) about, plus Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, Shelduck, Shoveler, Curlew, Snipe, Moorhen, Canada Geese, Lapwing, Bar Tailed Godwit, Little Egret (10+) and Pink Footed flying over.
Someone asked us in this hide if we had seen the Spoonbill, which was a surprise to us, so after a while we wandered back down to the visitor centre. (About 300m the other side of the car park)
The light was really bad now, but for the record:
He later became active, walking about and showing off 'the spoon' really well, he then took off and flew straight over the hide, brilliant!
So with some Coot and Little Grebe and the start at Winsford it brought our days tally to 37, two less than last years New Years Day when we went to Middleton Lakes, but to have a Spoonbill on the first day of the year is a great start.