Out at first light looking for Geese I arrived at the floodwater on the west end of Prestwick Carr and stood at the field gate peering into the gloom for the flock that was roosting regularly here. It being grey and dark the camera stayed in its case and of course old sods law sprang into action. A Barn Owl approached flying below hedge height to my right before perching on a post just fifteen feet in front of me! It gave me an disdainful look then flew on toward Prestwick to be followed moments later by its mate at similar close range. What a wonderful but frustrating start to the day. The Greylag flock was found and after a few efforts I arrived at the sum of 93 birds before at 8.40 they flew off in a scruffy noisy v to the east. Still kicking myself about the owl and bemoaning the grey weather I headed home as some rays of hope peaked through the cloud. By 11.00 it was sunny so I decided to try for a Christmas card shot and headed up the road to Bolam Lake.
Parking badly to provide a good shot of the feeding platforms in the car park, I wound down the window and was greeted immediately by a hopeful Robin. Following a minor disruption from more noisy humans (what is it about Bolam that attracts these people?) I baited the area with some fatty snacks and waited for the locals who were calling all around to gather. First was Coal Tit chased instantly by Robin, then Blue Tits then Blackbird and poor Robin could not cope with the competition. Great Tit, Chaffinch and Dunnock followed before two greedy Nuthatches took over the show.
Didn't really get the shot I was looking for but was calmed by being so close to these lovely little birds. Even the Dunnock had a bit of a glow.