Decided to properly start off the year list today (2nd Jan) due to the 1st being a wash out.
Headed for Attenborough over in Notts first to hopefully see the first year male Smew that has been on the river since around Xmas and to see what else we could pick up.
As is the usual case these days the car park was full by the visitor centre so ended up in the over flow near the railway line. In Church Pond we picked up Goldeneye, Gadwall, Pochard, Black Headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Coot and Mallard.
On to the visitor centre for a spot of early lunch, after working my way through one of there massive door stops it was off to the tower hide. Picking up Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Mute Swan and Egyptian Goose. From the road bridge we added Red-crested Pochard (well we decided to count them on the list).
Here we picked up Teal, Widgeon, Shoveler and Tufted Duck. Here while looking at the Widgeon I blasted missed a Bittern moving between the reed beds although Lesley did manage to see it.
Then it was off to the river to find the Smew, this was done quite quickly as it was just at the end of the path that leads from the tower hide to the river. Also seen on the river were Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe and Goosander.
From here we headed back to the car via the Kingfisher hide where we had hearded Water Rail had been seen.
The usual Tree Sparrow, Great Tits and Chaffinch were seen along with Common and Herring Gull out on the ice.
Finally it was off to Willington GP before home to hopefully grab a hat trick of owls.
We got there for just after 3 and the Short Eared Owl was already out and about, soon followed by the Barn Owl. Just before we left the Long Eared Owl showed itself finishing off the three some.
So quite a good way to start off the year.