This entry was meant to go up on Saturday, but when I got home I discovered my PC data disk was completely full again, so I had to spend my editing hours sorting out the computer. I hope it is now all sorted for another few months. I fear a seriously major sort out is required though!
So: Saturday was a peerless January morning. I'd been in two minds about the walk, as I'd agreed to meet a friend at her house at 9am, but once I saw what he morning was like it was too good to pass up. I reckoned an hour round the north lake to get the sun rise, then a cuppa with Yvonne ... sorry Yvonne I was really late!
It was very cold, causing a mist to settle in the valley and drift across the lake. The sun rise was crystal clear and the geese were already coming and going - greylag arriving and just a bit later, canada geese fidgeting around before finally, leaving.
I bumped into Keith (not surprising really - he always seems to be around in the mornings) and we walked round towards the hotel, where a variety of waterfowl were feeding - a pair of grebes were facing up as if thinking of a dance, then decided feeding was more important. Then Keith spotted the first goosander. There were 2 males and a female, wary as ever, paddling across the lake as soon as we stopped to look at them. Mostly they were hanging with the Canada geese for camoflage - at least while the geese remained.
Keith then headed south and I went off for my appointement, walking round the hotel to watch the variety of birds still gathered there on my way.
The cormorants were returning to their roost, teal were squabbling along the reed edges - both beside the hide and also I realised along the edge of the island as the setting sun caught the bright yellow patches.
Along the wader scrape there was a big flock of lapwing. My first count made it over 50, but birds kept arriving. They settled until the island goats breenged (great Scots word "To move in a rapid, devil-may-care fashion") along the shore and put them to flight. This time I counted well over 80 flying near me and there were more to the north - a nice thing to see.
As the sun was setting the temperature dropped sharply and I headed home, finding time to watch a flock of long tailed tits acrobatically hunting in the bushes below me, and grab a quick shot of the disappearing sun.