Our group secretary Chris sent us an email last night to request final data for 2013, to give an update on the totals for the year (just over 2,500 birds) and to ask "what will be the first bird for the new year I wonder ? Blue tit..again! First bird for 2013 was a Blue tit on 1st Jan at Grace Dieu".
Well, always one for a challenge I blew the cobwebs off this morning and headed for the sewerage works where I knew I could find a sheltered spot out of the wind. Just after 9:30 to my delight and to buck the trend the first bird ringed was .... Chiffchaff. This was followed quickly by a couple of Long-tailed Tits. Just as I was warming up the heavens opened and that was that. It rained and blew a gale for the rest of the day. Up and running though.