Just got back from New Year celebrations on the other side of the Pennines, with the Missus' family ("the Outlaws") in Immingham, near Grimsby.
Many fine wines and delicious eats etc, but got out to look at Killingholme Lagoons on December 31, which was once a stunning site, regularly holding Bittern, Long Eared Owls, Bearded Tits, Willow Tits, Smew, Kingfisher etc in winter.
Not today though - and not surprisingly as it is hemmed in by car storage yards, landing bays and light industry, that just wasn't there when I first started visiting.
Doubt there's any Turtle Doves or Lesser Whitethroats there in summer now either.
A crying shame.
Best I managed was a Ruddy Duck or two before leaving feeling very down.
In contrast a visit to the spiffing Far Ings reserve on New Year's Day (Happy New Year everyone) was better.
The reserve, just this side of the Humber Bridge is a great place, part of a narrow strip of lagoons and hawthorn scrub, mudflats and reedbeds that stretch for a good few miles down the coast.
The high winds meant it was hard to find any birds though, and downright impossible to get a decent picture of anything (see the party of long tailed tits at a feeding station pictured above, looking like they were being spun around in a washing machine), but I got reasonable views of Willow Tit there, and the Tree Sparrows are always nice to look at.
Reed Bunting, finches and Dunnocks were also coming into the feeders.
Trouble was, all the branches were swaying about in the wind, so I couldn't get things in focus (the 5 bottles of Peroni and a brilliant Indian meal the night before may have had a hand to play in my focussing problems too).
The mild winter has had an effect over in the east judging by the relatively low numbers of Redwings here today - and the large amount of berries left on the trees.
Someone should get word to the Waxwing horde 'cos there's loadsa food for them this winter, if only they'd move south.
Right must dash, I gotta fabricate a few New Year's resolutions.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.....
(PS Have I missed anything over here???)