Sunday, 1 January 2012 first the hurdle...

The Safari got just about a full afternoon's birding at the nature reserve where we scored an almost half way 50 species!
Unfortunately we dipped the Iceland Gull by about an hour - is that still a dip? - and yesterday's Red Crested Pochard wasn't seen by anyone all day and the number of Wigeon was a little down so it seems it must have gone over night with the small flock it came with.
We met up with a visiting birder who was the same chap who put us on to the Tundra Bean Goose we couldn't find on the Southside last week - how weird was that? This time he put us onto a fine adult Mediterranean Gull - thanks again bud; from the description of yesterday's bird this one was a different individual. We returned the favour by showing him the Long Eared Owl. Then we had a quick look for Jack Snipe but weren't really hopeful as the water level is still too high, 15 Common Snipe shot out of the reedbed on our approach though.
Later we were stood on the viewing platform and had our best views of the Cetti's Warbler for some time, it showed well in the (almost) open and sang for about a minute! We were joined by regular birder TS who counted a season's best of five female and two male Goldeneyes - where are they all? 
Most of the regular stuff was found there except Goldfinch and fly over Pink Footed Geese either today so plenty more winter stuff to go at in our quest for 110 species there this year.
We ended the day with the following totals
Total year - 54
Marton Mere LNR - 50 (only five short of half way!)
Patch 1 - 8
Garden - 4
Where to next? More of the same with maybe a couple of additional trips and we're going to try to get there a little earlier to coincide with the Iceland Gull's morning visit.
In the meantime let us know how successfully you've negotiated the first hurdle of 2012 in your outback.

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