The Safari had yet another rough night, will this darned cold ever go? Monty laid in bed late but still had us up well before dawn. As soon as we were out of the front door we heard a Robin (1) singing somewhere in the darkness. On the grass verge of the main road we could see the dark shape of a Blackbird (2) hopping around listening for early rising worms. Unfortunately the light from the street lamps revealed the Peregrine had gone from its roosting ledge, probably frightened off by the ridiculous barrage of fireworks - when did all that nonsense start and more to the point why???
Once daybreak came round it wasn't long before Herring Gull (3), Great Tit (4), Woodpigeon (5) and Collared Dove (6).
Late morning we set off with Wifey and Monty for the beach, stopping just around the corner to have a close look at the Peregrine (7), which had thankfully reappeared.
At the beach the tide was in as were a fair number of New Year's Day swimmers,
the skinny dippers were particularly brave as there was a stiff icy breeze blowing and a temperature of no more than 5C. With the swimmers and literally hundreds of dog walkers we didn't hold out much hope of finding the local Snow Buntings....and we didn't!
A flock of Ringed Plovers (8) were trying to roost at the top of the beach but were continually being disturbed.
They'd be flushed, fly round a bit and then try to settle back down but before many minutes had passed yet another dog walker would come along and walk straight towards them putting them up again. We made sure Monty was kept well away from them by at least 100 yards.
Eventually the traffic died down a bit and they were able settle properly, so we used the little available cover to get big-lens close, we fired off a few shots and went backwards to leave them in peace.
Shame about the Snow Buntings but we'll try again at lunchtime later in the week. If there were no dog walkers the beach would have been empty, which says something about the rest of society.
The drive back to Base Camp gave us several Feral Pigeons (9) and once home we heard a Dunnock (10) calling in the garden.
Ten down, two hundred to go, our year list gas started...and the grand total for the Photo Challenge is two.
Where to next? Off on a birding mission to the Southside tomorrow which is good.
In the meantime let us know who's out on a ledge in your outback.