I had to stay late at work today for the christmas school dinner, so my walk this afternoon was cut to just over an hour.
By the time I got out the bird life was already getting into roosting mode, and I don't blame them, it was very cold out there today. Patches of frost were still lying wherever the suns rays couldn't reach. It wasn't until I reached the large gardens that straddle the footpath that leads to the lake, that I finally saw some activity, SISKINS fed in some Alders, with a COAL TIT, a pair of NUTHATCH'S were busily chipping away at an old Oak branch, giving me some great views, but it was just too dark in the shadows for any photographs, more surprisingly I heard the lovely delicate sound of a TREECREEPER in full song.
Despite much searching of the treetops for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, it was not re-found, however GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were very much in evidence.
At the lake I was miffed to find it three quarters frozen over! A dozen MALLARDS crammed into the remaining open water, and two MOORHEN were under the overhanging branches, which kept the edge of the water ice free. Whilst I was there a GREY HERON drifted in and alighted on the ''Cormorants'' perch.
The sun very rapidly dipped below the horizon, and the temperature dropped equally as fast, time to go home for a hot cuppa, as I left I came across a small party of LONG TAILED TITS, I hope they find somewhere warm tonight, it's going to be a cold one.
Above: Iced Lake and the setting sun. Below: Frost at the small holding