In a rare show of good people management I was allowed to leave work early today giving me a couple of hours of daylight to spend at Sandy Water Park near Llanelli. The lake there is frozen solid apart from a couple of small areas where water flows in. Unsurprisingly these oasis’s were absolutely packed with what little waterfowl there is left, one being full to bursting point with some thirty Mute Swan. Tufted Duck, Mallard and a single male Pochard made up the numbers on what was a pretty barren scene. There have been reports of a Bittern at this site over the last couple of days which I found very surprising given that the reed beds are somewhat limited and easily accessible by both humans and dogs. Therefore imagine my astonishment when I glanced into the stream past the small wooden bridge and found a Bittern staring out a cat! Fortunately the Bittern saw sense and flew the short distance back towards the lake where it landed on the ice. I managed to get a vantage point from which I could get what would have counted as a superb view in any other winter than this.
Also feeding in the small stream was a very confident Water Rail. Someone had dropped some bread into the water which had attracted the rail and several Moorhens. Despite the dark conditions I somehow managed to fluke some shots that I am absolutely delighted with. This is the first time that I have managed to photograph this species and the results aren’t half bad.
Also out on the lake was a Grey Heron that despite having some open water looked distinctly uninterested in doing any fishing. In fact it looked positively grumpy.
The trees along the lake shore were full of bickering Redwing and Song Thrushes. Having only seen a couple of Redwing so far this winter it was great to find somewhere with a decent concentration. Despite following them around I didn’t manage to get any photos as they always managed to land just behind a branch or in an area that was simply too dark for my camera. The Black Headed Gulls however were much more obliging as they posed in the sun near the car park.
For me it’s now time to go and wrap some presents. I would just like to say Happy Christmas to all of my readers and thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a cracking holiday and get revitalised for the coming year.