I looked out of the window and found it was a tadge frosty.
I decided that I'd stay local and headed to the Forest. It all seemed a bit quiet somehow. There were birds but not in great numbers, perhaps I just missed the flocks. Still I saw Bullfinches and a treecreeper which were nice.
The lake had partially frozen over again
but there was enough open water to support loads of Mallards, shoveler, teal, lots of Gadwall, Tufties, Canada Geese, Coots and Moorhen and alas the loan Great Crested Grebe.
I stopped for breakfast at the cafe and was joined by this chap.
Suitably refreshed I spotted a Kingfisher flash over the lake.
So it was early, I considered my first trip of the year to Rye Meads but instead went to Connaught Water in Epping Forest. Its a small lake well frequented by families, I had heard the ducks were friendly and I know it is home to a bird difficult to tick. The bird is the Mandarin Duck and though I saw them they were playing hard to get and were sitting on Islands. There was also a Red Crested Pochard but this is an escape and been there 4 years I believe. This lake too was partially frozen but it also had a Great Crested Grebe (may be two) and I spotted a Little Grebe as well.
Nothing out of the ordinary but a nice stroll and a chance to appreciate the dapper little Tufted Duck.