Went out with Bradders and Muffin today and mostly managed to dip everything we were specifically interested in. No matter, it's early January, and so even the birds we weren't specifically interested in were interesting. Started off in Wanstead where we managed to dip both Firecrest and Nuthatch, both easy as you like yesterday - always the way I guess. Onwards to Cliffe in Kent for some Scaup, and despite a few candidates, nothing that passed the Bradders test. Stupendous numbers of birds though, probably 200+ Little Grebe being the most noteworthy, but heaps of Pintail amongst other healthy duck numbers. Not sure how many were yearticks, but I suspect quite a few. Finished up on the Silts and some momentary excitement of a Grey Partridge which turned out not to be one, but two Short-eared Owls were good value. I'd like to moan about the weather at this point - it is ridiculous for early January, and needs to get a lot colder if anything exciting is going to happen. Bird of the day goes to this fine fellow, surveying his patch in Bush Wood this morning. One of my neighbours asked me only yesterday if he was still around, and I said that I thought so but that I hadn't seen or heard anything for a while. Again, always the way.