We are well on our way into 2015, and with it that 'shiny newness' that greeted the beginning of the new year has started to wear off. Whether it's a deep-seated melancholy that I carry around with me or not, by about January 4th/5th my enthusiasm usually takes a check. I don't think it is just me - it is well known that the first working Monday of a new year brings with it the realisation that we have all eaten too much, drunk too much, have bills to pay and it is still dark and cold most of the time. Welcome to the human condition!
Birding is no different. The hope and expectations of the 'Big January 1st Bash' have been met and used up, and unless we are in the middle of something unusual like a cold-weather movement then everything seems remarkably like it did pre-Christmas (at least it does around my part of Surrey). I walked a section of the patch yesterday (no car so far this year) and was reminded how patience will be the name of the game - there was no gull roost at Priest Hill; no Firecrest(s) at Banstead Downs and, apart from a glorious flock of 500 Fieldfare at Canons Farm, no decent flocks to be seen anywhere. The patch year list did, however, creep along to 57. As if to check my expectations further, the overnight moth-trapping session in the garden yielded not a single moth.