Usually New Years Day is spent with Colin, usually doing North Norfolk, though occasionally we have visited Portland, or kept things easy with a tour round the fens. With Red Rumped Swallow, Pallid Harrier available, and the Kings Lynn Iceland Hull and Holme Shorelarks remaining it seemed a safe bet that Norfolk would be the destination.
Sometime yesterday afternoon I realised that a cold was on the way, and having discussed it with Colin, cancelled today's trip. Broke out the 'medicine' (a rather nice soothing Tawny Port) and had an early night only disturbed by the inevitable fireworks.
So today the furthest I got was the bin and the bottom of the garden and a species total of 12, the best being the four Long Tailed Tits that flitted through mid-morning.
No reports today of the Harrier, the Gull and the Swallow, so it looks like we might have made a good decision but knowing how popular a New Year Norfolk bash is I guess that there have been a lot of disappointed birders today, though with Rough Legs, Golden Pheasant and a Lesser Yellowlegs, plus the usual stuff it probably wasn't too bad.
Did a quick survey of the garden this afternoon and recorded the following plants in flower-
Abutilon Kentish Belle
Cuphea Cyanea Hyssopifolia
and a south african Erica species whose name escapes me.
The following are in bud
Helleborus Orentalis hybrid
Geum Prinses Juliana
A lot of the tender/half hardy stuff is still going thanks to the mild winter, and because I have a south facing sheltered garden I can get away with growing things that probably shouldn't survive in North Herts.