Only discovered this from BSBI postings a few years back and now it is one of the first things I look for in January.
(female above, male below)
If I was a year lister this would be a good year. Already I've seen Cetti's Warbler, Bittern, Jack Snipe, Great Northern Diver, Kingfisher on patch and Goshawk, Smew, Shorelark, Lesser Redpoll and Chiffchaff (the last one out of county).
In addition the only common patch bird missing is Willow Tit.
I did try for three long stayers but failed miserably with the first, only to abandon my search for the others. (Firecrest, Black Redstart and Snow Bunting)
Enjoyable visits to Bamburgh, North Shields, Wallington, and Branton. Regular visits to the patch and it hasn't been a bad start. ;-)