A grim day that never really woke up, but I had to barrel over to Martin Mere across the defrosty black and green winter mosslands anyway, so.
The murk/mist/fog was lower than a snake's belly by 2.30pm, but Corn Bunts, a family group of Whoopers and a flock of 250 Pinks were about.
Called into In Focus for a bit of lens bartering with Andy Bunting, which went swimmingly - bye, bye zoom lens, hello brand new 30x wide - much nicer field of view thank you.
As we haggled, Andy and I checked the main mere, while the swans began to gather for their afternoon feed.
Hordes of Whoopers of course with a confused looking Black Swan, but three Bewick's were very nice (achingly scarce these days) - a singleton and a pair, dwarfed by the calling Whoopers.
The hybrid FerruginousxPochard was bobbing about in the gloom too, a winter puzzler since 2005. Few Ruff and the usual wildfowl.
There's Andy look, when he accepted my battered old Nikon 78 (sans eyepiece) in part exchange for a packet of pistachio nuts and a well-thumbed copy of the Beano back in September. Given the hammering I gave the scope, I think I got the best of that particular deal.
Recently returned from Ethiopia he regaled me with the wonderful tale of Prince Ruspoli (of Turaco fame). Anyone who gets trampled to death by an elephant, but still has a bird named after him, on the strength of a stiff in his rucksack, is okay by me.
And ask Andy to show you his pics of Ethiopian Wolf next time you're in - a superb beastie. Mr Bunting is now the comptroller of the live Martin Mere webcam, so you may want to have a look at that online as well if you haven't already.
If I can squeeze through the hawthorn early doors one morning, who knows what'll appear on screen?
And before I forget, I've stuck a link on the blog to the RSPB Inner Marsh Farm website this week at the request of Paul Brady - so that's worth a butcher's too.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...