Today is apparently known as "Black Friday" because as the last Friday before Christmas, it's the day when everyone goes out and gets completely ratted - it would be rude not to join in, but before all hands headed down to the Guest House, I managed a quick count at the Sands Lake this afternoon.
It was black as the inside of a coal sack by 3pm (only a few days to go before the days start getting longer again), and the wind was freshening already with occasional showers.
76+ Tufted Ducks, with at least 2 Pochard with them in the gloom, 2 Cormorant, the usual 2 Mute Swans, gazillions of Mallards, 16 Shovelers and up at the north end, Little Grebe and Water Rail.
Plenty of Black Headed Gulls bumming bread by the car park, but not even enough light to manage an artsy-fartsy shot of the flock being blown around in the strengthening gale, so I gave up on fancy exposures and slow-mo shots and headed in the same direction as everybody else.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...