Around 7.30 this morning I received a phone call from Keith asking me if I would like to join him at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes (he was already there by the way!) to see if we could locate the two Otters that were giving good views yesterday.
So, about an hour later, after a quick rush around to get everything together and a 15 mile journey through the rush hour traffic, I met up with Keith by the side of the lake as the sun was beginning to make a welcome appearance through the hazy blue sky, sadly though it wasn't having much effect on the cold breeze.
We made our way around to the hide on the North lake and soon got good views of a dozen or so Teal loafing in the sunshine and a single Snipe searching for food at the water's edge. A large flock of Lapwing were on the distant spit and ten or so Grey Heron were on or around the beginnings of a Heronry in the treetops on the island, one already sitting on a nest and another pair doing what comes naturally for Herons at this time of year!!
After a time, sitting in the cold and drafty hide, we decided to go for a walk around the lake. Keith soon spotted a female Kestrel sitting on a lamp post, after a short time it took to the air, spooked by an oblivious pedestrian walking along the footpath directly underneath!
I did, however, manage to get a picture as it took to the air.
After steady stroll in the sunshine we arrived back at the hide once more, unfortunately it wasn't long before all the birds were up in the air spooked by the arrival of a Reed cutting craft crewed by members of the Parks Trust, who proceeded to navigate three quarters of the way around the island before landing and getting off to, presumably, check on the goats that live there!
All was not lost however, as it gave me the opportunity to practice some flight shots...
Not a bad few hours out in the sunshine but sadly no 'otter(s)!!
Or to put it another way...the sun shone...it was bloody cold in the wind...the birds were spooked...AND... we didn't see any Otters!
I still enjoyed it though!!