The great thing about having a local patch is that you tend, after a year or two, to know which birds to expect at which times of the year and, with some species, even which area of the site to look in. This means that when you turn up for a short walk around at the end of December you expect to see the usual wildfowl a few gulls and the odd Goosander if you're very lucky. This was exactly the case for me this afternoon, until I started counting the Black-headed gulls that were standing, preening on the ice. Suddently in amongst them I noticed a much larger gull with a light grey back and a large, yellow beak with a red spot on the lower mandible. Straight away I knew this was an adult Herring Gull, a first for me at this site!!!
Despite the weather having warmed up greatly today, 4 degrees this afternoon, there was still plenty of ice on the reservoirs and some amazing ice sculptures on the overflow channels, just like this one.