New Years Day has arrived and it is very mild-noticed Grape Hyacinth in flower in the garden (along with several Cowslips that have been going since October) and there are plenty of other bulbs coming up.
Did not do a big trip today-Colin is out of action (makes a change as it's usually me), so went down to the Lea Valley for a few hours.
Started off at Nazeing. The diver had not been seen for a few days but I expected to see a few Goosander and so on. Unfortunately i was pretty quiet and there was nothing much of note, so I quickly left.
Amwell seemed quiet too, as only Phil was present but eventually most of the others were encountered. Not a great deal from the watchpoint, though given time a few Buzzards and Sparrowhawks put in an appearance. The usual assortment of wildfowl and gulls, a few Lapwing and Snipe were all I saw.
Made my way up to Tumbling Bay where a drake Smew had been present for two days, but no-one could find it. I could not find the Red Crested Pochard either.
Over at hollycross, Tony and Julie were watching Goldcrests but the lake was empty, so I went with the Sunday mob to the picnic area where we watched a large flock of Siskin in the alders. A Marsh Tit was with them and showed well.
back at the watchpoint, I met Alan Reynolds so i filled him in on Nazeing. The only new birds were two Little Egrets. Unfortunately Phil had seen the Smew fly north, presumably to Tumbling Bay but by then it was getting on and I had to leave.