After finishing a presentation that I'm giving tomorrow, I went for a midday walk round Deeping Lakes, usually a guaranteed spot for Goldeneye and Goosander. But today even the deepest lake was totally frozen over with the waterfowl confined to two small areas of open water on the shallow lakes. And no sign of either bird on the River Welland either.
As I arrived this Reed Bunting flew right in front of the car and I was able to watch it gathering reed seeds - such skill! And I spotted a few new birds for the year, including two pairs of rather noisy Egyptian Geese, a predatory Great Black-backed Gull which flew over the wildfowl but didn't land, and a solitary Pochard in with a large flock of Tufted Duck. It was also good to get closer views of a large group of Whooper Swans, initially feeding on the arable fields, but later some flew over to the Welland.
The cold weather continues and just before sunset there was a rather lovely display of iridescent clouds. According to Wikipedia, if parts of clouds contain small water droplets or ice crystals of similar size, their cumulative effect is seen as colors. The cloud must be optically thin, so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds, while newly forming clouds produce the brightest and most colorful iridescence.
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