A trip to Connaught Water this morning proved very worth while. Being only ten minutes from home is another welcome bonus.
Arriving on site early to avoid the mid morning crowds of dog walkers and young family groups is always a good idea here.
Mandarin Duck was expected, and after a little searching of the islands a pair were found sleeping at the water's edge. The majority of these birds disperse to smaller ponds within the forest during the winter.
A smart looking male Pintail came into view as we crossed the boardwalk and turned the corner.
The trees around the water's edge were alive with woodland birds busy foraging for food. It didn't take long before I heard and then saw the first Nuthatch of 2015. While watching the Nuthatch a movement close by proved to be a Treecreeper. An Egyptian Goose swam past and Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Jay were all added.
A drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker, and a single Redwing were also seen before the crowds around the lake started to build up.
Roding valley is even closer to home and a brief walk added Greenfinch, Dunnock, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush and the now ever increasing colony of Ring-necked Parakeets.
Returning home a quick scan of the surrounding trees added two Collared Doves to the day and year list.
Sixteen species added within 10 minutes of home.