Local birding has become predictable and with a trip abroad just around the corner we needed to do something different and sharpen our observation skills so visited Ravensthorpe, Hollowell and Pitsford Reservoir. Biggest delight was the amount of wildfowl seen at Ravensthorpe and Pitsford and enjoyed the fun of picking different species out however far away and a painful reminder of how Draycote use to be. A colourful sunrise as we entered Northamptonshire and our first port of call at Ravensthorpe showed the small side nearly frozen over but there were good numbers of Wigeon and Teal present with a female Smew just off the causeway being our first of the winter with a Red Kite over as we went back to the car. Next stop was Hollowell where we had 2 Stonechat at the narrow end and a Yellow-legged Gull but heat haze affected us checking the duck out so failed to find the Scaup that was present. Finally Pitsford was to us just full of duck with plenty of Pochard, Wigeon, Teal with other commoner species dotted amongst them. Highlight here were 2 Great White Egrets with one at a reasonable distance, 2 Little Egret and a Peregrine chasing the pigeons.