Despite very strong winds that only a madman would be out birding in, I went my first visit to the Meadow for quite a while today and was pleased to see how healthy the floods look. I was also amazed at the sheer numbers of birds present. There must easily be over one thousand duck and a couple of thousand black-headed gulls alone in what was a reasonable sized roost today. There were quite a few noteworthy birds about today to get the new Year List off to a good start with COMMON SHELDUCK, a red-head GOOSANDER, two RUFF, a single DUNLIN (reported by Richard Foster) and at least a dozen PINTAIL all on the floods. The golden plover flock was a healthy size with several hundred birds present. There was nothing of particular note in the gull roost though I didn't stay long due to the scope-shakingly strong winds.