75 hectares of lakes, meadow, grassland, scrub and woodland next to the river Great Ouse. Usually plenty to see.
I got there as it got light; the sun rising into a blue sky. Perfect. A Heron flew over the car park as I made my way towards the aptly named Herony Lake. Redwing were sitting in the bushes, eyeing up the berries, as the frost covered path led me to the water.
Frozen. The whole lake, save for one small area, completley frozen. And packed into the small area, Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Widgeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Black-headed Gulls, and a Goldeneye.
Very distant, and heavily cropped. And very cold. And crossing the ice, towards one of the islands,
Maybe this could be it? He watched the Heron for a few moments; the Heron watched the fox. The Heron stood his ground.
The fox decided to move on. Perhaps that large dagger bill put him off?
He ambled on, stopping briefly to look back.
Maybe…………nah. He carried on, and disappeared amongst the trees on the island. Maybe something smaller, less fearsome, may be there.
I carried on too.
A Blue Tit sat huddled in some bushes, trying to conserve some energy,
and at one of the hides, a bird table and some feeders were attracting a few visitors.
and a Blackbird, trying to prise some of the seed that had fallen to the ground from the frosts icy grip.
I watched the visitors for a while, then made my way to the river. At least that wasn’t frozen. I was hoping to maybe see a Kingfisher, but I had to be content with a lone swan, slowly paddling along. Jackdaws and Crows calling above in the trees, and a party of Long Tailed Tits, just keeping a few steps ahead of me.
I passed through the working quarry, and made my way back towards the car park.Considering the cold morning, I’d managed to see 40 different birds on my visit; more than my last visit back in September. This handsome Kestrel being one of them.
I know I was.