We didn't bother going out for New Years Eve - instead we spent a great night in playing a few board games and various Wii and Playstation challenges with the kids until the early hours. For some unknown reason I opted to drink Gin + fresh orange for the night, and I eventually fell into bed at around 02:45.
I had absolutely no intention of getting up this morning for a birding start, but when I eventually surfaced I could see that it was a superb crisp and cold bright day so I decided to head out to Eyebrook Res for the afternoon. Rutland Water would have been a better birding experience, but I knew it would be awash with elderly punters and wankers.
En route along the A47, I thoroughly enjoyed a superb Red Kite overhead and several Buzzards in the clear bright sky. Arriving at EBR, it was clear that a fair number of the elderly punters and wankers had spilled over, however I headed directly to the inflow bridge and parked up. I decided to leave the car there and uncharacteristically walk around with bins and scope.
Over the next couple of relaxing hours I managed to see c45 species including most of the common wildfowl and gulls, with highlights being the drake Green-winged Teal, a drake and 2 female Goosander, a couple of Redshanks, a few Snipe and Dunlin, a Little Egret, a few Tree Sparrows and a smart drake Bullfinch.
It was bloody freezing cold, so I was extremely pleased that one of my Christmas gifts were being put to good use - a pair of SealSkinz socks which kept my toes warm even when my gloved fingers were about to fall off. By the time I left the light was starting to fade but I made a quick stop at the regular tree and picked out a Little Owl sitting out on an exposed branch - a great end to the birding afternoon.