Today I had time for adventure, and on what was a glorious winters day, bright and still, indeed the sun was even too warm as I cycled along, I had one.
Well going to RSPB Langford isn't that adventurous, but I've never been this late in the year before. The reason I wanted to visit at this time of year was to try and see some winter ducks, the colourful, interesting quackers that would make a change from the mallards and tufted ducks that are the staple on the town waters.
(Realise - being harsh on mallards here - they are just as colourful, if not more so, that the other winter ducks).
So, off I went, getting annoyed with all the bad driving, and finding my legs slightly unused to long rides now I've been out of practice since the charity ride. But the weather was good and the wind slight, if in my face, and I arrived at Langford after about an hour.
I started off by making a sketch - terrible, but terrible with a distinctive style I think. I then started scanning the waters, and soon found goldeneye and shoveller to photograph. Further out onto the waters, there were pochard and wigeon, and indeed a lot of waterfowl sat on mudbanks that I couldn't identify at a distance.
Sitting down on the platform, I was stunnded to see a mating pair of common darter flying about. That is deep into the year!
I then walked around the lake, taking in the sights, enjoying the beautiful weather. Round the back of the reed bed there were more wigeon, and I fancy even a couple of gadwall, while off the boardwalk a flash of green speculum indicated my first ever sighting of a teal.
I studied every rustling reed, hopeful for a sighitng of a bearded tit. They bred here for the first time this year. But they stayed out of sight.
What exactly I saw, well, I haven't looked at my long range snaps yet. But you'll see this week. In the meantime, enjoy the shots and sketch I took to establish what a lovely day it was.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 13.11.16