Firstly Happy New Year to anyone reading this and a thank you to Mark Harrington in Cape Town who took us around the West Coast NP whilst we were there last year for spotting some errors on my photo labelling from that trip, I have corrected them now so pop down and check that post out again!
So our first birding walk of the year yesterday, due to a change in plans we had a couple of hours free and the weather was great so we popped to our closest reserve, Sandwell Valley, took us longer to get there than we thought the traffic was terrible, so we only ended up with an hour before the sun went down.
We walked around the Forge Mill lake and started the 2015 scoreboard rolling with some common stuff, Canada Geese, Black-headed Gulls, Mallard, Coot and Tufted Duck by the ramp. We walked on to the point opposite the hardly ever open hide and were rewarded with a large number of Snipe, of which these two were the closest:
and Grey Heron along the way. We carried on to the Visitor Centre and the feeders and were surprised by the progress of the new centre, very encouraging. It's been a fair while since we have been over there, we do tend to neglect Sandwell Valley as it can be a bit of a pig to get to!
We did find the feeders in their new location (by accident) as we stopped at one of the benches for a snack. There were plenty of tits and finches about with this pair of Bullfinches catching the last of the setting sun:
As we headed back to the car we found some Long-tailed Tit and had two Sparrowhawks fly over us. Our final sightings were a single Pochard and a number of Goosander, but sadly now much to dark for any snaps!
So off we go again, where to next, who knows!!