This morning, my plan was to leave home at 06:15, in order to arrive at the Ivel Valley for dawn. On my way, a pair of Tawny Owls duetting from a copse at Oak Farm was a splendid way to start my day.
Things were predictably slow at the New Road Workings; a couple of Snipe, but no sight nor sound of the Cetti's. I did manage to convert Wigeon into a zero-carbon tick.
Next, to Warren Villas and the fog descended - visibility was now no more than 50m. On the western side of the nature reserve, I was surprised to hear a Cetti's give a single explosive phrase of song. During 2013, I had CW on six occasions at New Road - always in the same reedbed. This, however, was about 0.5m away on the far side of Warren Villas. The same bird? Well I can't be sure. Strictly speaking, the situation is no different to the Marston Vale birds that people have been ticking, but:
1) I am not so desperate
2) The only person I am competing against is myself
Until I hear a bird at New Road then a bird at Warren Villas shortly afterwards, it stays out.
After converting Teal to a zero-carbon tick, met up with Richard and we had a look at Broom. No rare grebes, but a flock of Shoveler were my first of the year (Steve and I managed to avoid Shoveler during the entire duration of the duck hunt!) However, I can't tick these either because others have already done so.
[Edit. As at 21-Jan:
Year list: 90, SFYL: 88, zero-carbon: 81, BirdTrack records: 619, BirdTrack lists: 16]