I managed sometime out birdwatching on New Year's Day and finished the day with 34 species. Our garden birds helped start the process and my first bird of 2013 was a Blackbird. By the time I left the house 14 birds had been recorded including a lazy Grey Heron flying over the house.
I stopped off in Billingham to do a BTO Winter Thrush Survey which turned out to be disappointing as only 5 Blackbirds were seen in an hour. Worryingly no berries were present and the grassed areas had only a scattering of gulls. The area was quiet, with very few people out so there wouldn't be much disturbance.
Then I went to Hartlepool, and stopped near Jackson's Landing for a juvenile Black Throated Diver which showed very well on the calm water in the marina. A single female Red-breasted Merganser was also present.
On the rocks near the Heugh Battery, Hartlepool Headland was several Purple Sandpipers and a couple of Oystercatchers. The incoming tide was quickly covering the rocks, so no Knot were seen. On the sea were some stunning male Eider and about 30 female Common Scoters. There were also 20+ Red-throated Divers and a few Guillemots, so as the light started to fade I left Hartlepool.
A quick call in at Wynyard, to an old BTO Atlas square produced a roosting Fieldfare and Redwing before heading for home.
2013 Bird Year List = 34
2013 Mammal Year List = 0
2013 Butterfly Year List = 0
2013 Moth Year List = 0