Was out running past London Road lake today, taking in the sights, feeling pretty good, not having to nurse my legs too much, feeling insulated from the cold in my not really suitable for running purple fleece.
Anyway, was about halfway down the lake when I looked out onto the water and saw a Great Crested Grebe coasting along serenely.
But something didn't look right. I pulled up, and trotted back up a little way. The bird concerned seemed to have an all Black Head, with a very white front, none of the tan-orange feathers of a Great Crested Grebe. At a distance of about 75 yards or so, the beak was yellow and appeared to be quite thin.
I was thinking Goosander, colour scheme would be about right, but the beak is wrong. Damn I wish I had my field glasses or 10x50s with me, but they tend not to be practical when one is out there attempting to emulate Mo Farah.
And as we all know, I'm not the world's greatest birder! Maybe it was a Grebe that had been graffitied. Painted upon. Defaced...
Didn't really see anything else on the 7 and a half mile trip through Clay Lane and Beacon Hill reserve, bar a small tree overlooking a feeder, with a mixed flock of Chaffinches and Great Tits sat in it watching their suppers. The light was horrible and flat and grey, like my eyes had been part matte painted.
And I need matte painted eyes like...I need matte painted eyes.