And very cold. I reckon the mercury dropped out the bottom of the thermometer last night. The day started dull, foggy, a thick frost, and very cold.
But it got better.
I walked the south lake first, for some reason. A few gulls left from the roost, as I walked the edge; a couple of Herons that were tucked in the reeds, and some Swans out on the ice. Most of the south lake was frozen, apart from a section by the island where the Cormorants hang out. Everything seemed to be packed in there; Greylag and Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard and four Goosander.
When I reached the very bottom end, there wasn’t much to see on the water, but down amongst the fallen leaves, some Blackbirds and Redwing were picking their way through it, searching for anything to eat. A Treecreeper worked his way up one of the trees, and a couple of Goldcrests were working their way down.
Past the offices, and just to the left, is a small footbridge. Close to this, are some reeds, and an area that seldom freezes.
As I got nearer, the crunching of the frost underfoot, alerted two Mallards, which in turn sent a Heron aloft too. And then, to my amazement, and complete surprise, a Bittern flapped his way from the reeds. He made his way to the very bottom end of the lake, and the safety of more reeds.
The last time I saw a Bittern here, was last February. A great ‘tick’ for the lake.
Another search tomorrow, I think.
The north lake didn’t hold any more surprises, but the sheer beauty of the thick frost on the trees, and by now, the sun shining on them, made the mornings visit all worthwhile.
Full list of today’s sightings
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris britannica)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Total species 36
Apologies for late post; YouTube being a pain in the arse again, and work got in the way.