The light this morning was superb and, without a breath of wind, the water on all 3 reservoirs was as still and flat as I think I've ever seen it. There was a slight chill in the air and a little mist was hanging over the bottom reservoir. With the temperature down to just 4 degrees, shaded areas of the sight had the first frost of the winter.
I started my walk on the bottom reservoir where the first waterbirds of the day were Mallards. Throughout the walk I counted a total 69, which was a significant increase on last week's count of just 43. Also present here were the first of 22 Tufted Ducks ( 1 more than last week!) and 27 of the 35 Mandarin Ducks seen throughout the morning. Coots and Moorhens were also added to the list and, by the end of the two hours I'd recorded 8 and 6 respectively (similar numbers to last week). A single adult Little Grebe was also seen on the bottom reservoirs, but no sign of the juvenile bird today.
The middle reservoir was relatively quiet this morning, but I did still manage to find the 3 Great-crested Grebes (1 adult and 2 juveniles), 1 Grey Heron enjoying the early morning sun, 2 Grey Wagtails and 3 Cormorants.
Away from the water the usual woodland birds (Blue, Great, Long-tailed, Coal and Willow Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Jay, Woodpigeon, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Goldcrest, Nuthatch and Treecreeper) were all seen. Other bird seen today which aren't seen on every trip included a pair of Bullfinch, 2 Mistle Thrushes, which were defending a Rowan tree full of berries, and perhaps the best of all, a Chiffchaff, which was singing half heartedly. Chiffchaffs are heard every year into at least October, especially on sunny days, and we have at least one record of a warbler species seen on a fat ball in the woods in January, which was presumably a Chiffchaff.