So it seems I was patch yearlisting for the first few days of the year and I didn't even know it. The trouble with year listing on an inland patch that you live on is you log a quarter of the year's expected total on the first day - before lunch.
Monoculture has it's uses but building a year list isn't one of them so clearly if this is going to be a year long exercise a plan is needed. The highest point of the farm has panoramic views and one of the views is of a golf course to the north that has lakes. It was here I got Dabchick for the Atlas so would one still be there. Luckily it's closed due to the weather at the moment so the birds and I were likely to be undisturbed.
Up I went with scope and set up, unfortunately direct access to the course is no longer possible from the farm, the boundary hedge has been allowed to grow tall and thick since the unfortunate incident of the cow on the 8th fairway so I had to scan through trees as best I could. Anyway first up is yet another Mistle Thrush -common as muck these days - but the group of Curlew and Oystercatchers were firsts for the year. After twenty minutes of scanning and seeing just Mallards and Moorhens it was getting boring , there should be a grant for this I was thinking when suddenly up pops a buoyant little tuft of feathers - bingo. After that it was easy and three Little Grebes were logged in total.
I could be spending a good bit of time up here, those pools look good for Teal or even something better. And I would nearly lay money that the tiny patches of reeds could hold a Water Rail. A farm tick no less, all I need is closer access, I should never have sold that cow!