This morning I made my first visit of the year to Hardwick Hall Country Park, which is quite an admission to make as I count this as the southern boundary of the 'Bishop Middleham patch', I should therefore visit more often but there's usually too many people, prams and dogs for my liking.
As usual the lake held a good variety of species, many of which are well trained at posing for the camera.
A waltz around Low Hardwick produced two year ticks in the form of Jay and Coal Tit.
Then it was off to the north end of the patch, the DWT Quarry,
By now the rain had arrived so I took refuge in the Castle Lake hide. Best birds here were singles of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper, 6 Snipe, 2 female Goldeneye and 11 Pink-footed Geese which came within six foot of landing and then must have received the evil eye of the Canada Geese and decided to overshoot before heading south over the flashes and then eventually west.
And finally two very readable publications have dropped through the letter box in the last week,