Technically, my first birds of the New Year were a Magpie, calling at about 12.10am, and a Robin singing happily in Whitwick marketplace not long after, but first actual sightings were a Carrion Crow and. of course, the Jackdaws on my chimneypots. They haven't dropped any half-eaten kebabs down into the grate lately, but they're a pretty permanent fixture up there. At times I've thought about getting the chimney swept so I can have an occasional coal fire, but the thought of displacing them puts me off.
In the afternoon, I managed about three hours at Cossington Meadows, attempting to get the 2008 patch list off to a flying start, and saw a total of 47 species (including the trip there and back). The Water Pipit was still around, which was a nice bonus, but sadly the Great White Egret was long gone. Still, although most of the others were what might be called bread and butter species, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to blow off a few cobwebs in preparation for the big return to work today, and there were a few other good ticks which might save a lot of searching later in the year. Jack Snipe, for instance, plus a few Bramblings in a finch flock, and a Green Sandpiper (sometimes easy to find, others not).