Tomorrow I return to work after a fortnight off for Christmas. That's gonna suck.
Anyhew, tried to make the most of the glorious winter sunshine on offer. Spent too long at Cotswold Water Park East, Pit 114, looking for the Bittern this morning. Very cold toes despite umpteen socks. The report that the bird was showing at 9.12am today provided welcome encouragement.
Alas, the bird failed to show to any great degree. Saw it in flight twice between reedbeds - good views both - but it landed in the reeds on each occasion and so I didn't see it walking about. We had the 500mm lens (w/1.4 extender) with us too - but no cigar.
Mindful that the light was failing rapidly, we gave up the Bittern as a bad job and dashed off to Pit 125 to chalk off the Great Northern Divers for 2010. Then onto Pit 17 (to which access was surprisingly difficult to find) in the western section of Cotswold Water Park. No Smew that I could see, but good views of Goldeneye, Red-crested Pochard and Goosander - the first two being lifers for me. Yeah I know, Goldeneye ain't devilishly hard to see... but you have to see them for the first time somehwere!
Some Great Crested Grebe and Gadwall - coupled with a nice garden Mistle Thrush this morning - brings the years total up to 59. I'm quite pleased with this in three days, and will look forward to adding to it sooner rather than later.
(we get Goldcrest regularly in the bushes around my office, so maybe I can tick them off before Friday)