For a change everything went to plan this New Years Day. I left Lowestoft at 7am whilst it was still dark & ticked a singing Robin as my first bird of 2005. This was followed by Herring Gull & Starling. At Kessingland Beach I was the only one there & soon located the Dusky Warbler calling from a rough patch by High Path. Soon, it showed itself well as it made itís way to the small bramble patch by the bus shelter & by this time another birder had arrived to view the bird. We then spent a good hour watching the warbler feed actively around some Alexanders & down the cliff face. As the sun began to shine we both had gripping views.
As soon as it the day increased the 70 Snow Buntings were seen on the beach in flight, followed by a small flock of Greenfinch nearby. I then left the Dusky Warbler & walked off to Benacre Pits ticking a Grey Wagtail at the sluice outfall on the way. I soon added Mallard, Mute Swan, Moorhen & Gadwall on the river & Two Mute Swans. On the pits I added Redshank, Six Scaup (Three pairs) & Six Little Grebes.
Benacre Broad produced the Larus Gulls, eight Goldeneye including a fine male, a Pintail, c500 Teal, several Wigeon & Coot. A female Common Scoter was here too. At Covehithe Broad I counted well over 500 Common Gulls & a single adult winter Med Gull which was quite a challenge considering the amount of gulls I had to scan through. Nice surprises here were One Avocet, eight Juvenile Sanderlings, four Pochard & a Tufted Duck.
I then walked back to Kessingland where I found a Red throated diver on the sea close in & a Great Crested Grebe, Two 1st Winter Kittiwakes & 12 Wigeon flew south offshore.
A brilliant start to the New Year with not a drop of rain to spoil it either.