These are the sorts of skies that have been greeting me as I get up with the bitter lies of the "Spring is coming!" weather forecasters reverberating from my dreams.
The South and West were reporting temperatures of up to 17 degrees, and my twitter feed was full of joyous folk reporting that they were out in speedos and thongs and taking pleasure in the first sightings of Brimstones of spring. Meanwhile here the temperature has barely scraped above freezing all day, and on Balderton Lake I could barely see more than ten metres out.
There was however a large duck out there I couldn't identify, I large dark headed duck with a sort of dirty grey body with darker splotches on the body. Judging by one or two other specimens I saw, I'd say it was a mallard crossed with a large domestic duck of some sort. Nothing interesting I'm afraid. There are plenty of Grebes about, and a squadron of Tufted Duck were patrolling on the water like a waterfowl representation of the Battle of Trafalgar.
The Starling murmurations continue, but it is interesting to note as the days get longer, I leave work earlier and earlier relative to the sunset, which means at the moment I'm catching the gathering earlier on, as smaller flocks mass before forming the thousand plus strong starling murmuration that is so annoying the residents of Lincoln Road, according to the advertiser.
The male blackbirds round my home really are singing their hearts out of the evenings now! I hope it bears the sweet fruit of love for them.