So anyway, a combination of a tough end to a working week, blue winter skies, and a text from @jarpartridge - I headed up to Lockwood where the light was brilliant, the breeze brisk, and the prescence of a good selection of birds.
Approaching Lockwood, a vocal Kingfisher flashed past me along the channel, and a male Sparrowhawk flew low eyes fixed on its prey. A few Common Gull were mixing in with the Black-Headed Gull but no sign of the Med that had been seen the previous day.
A patch tick for me were the Goldeneye, a drake and two female bobbing on choppy waters. Heading round the Maynards, a few Teal were sheltered within the small islands, with Common Pochard and Little Grebe. A couple of Grey Wagtail flew through. A wintering Common Sandpiper alighted from the shoreline of High Maynard.
Moving onto No.4, the main target was the Scaup associating with a raft of Tufted Duck and seen very close into the shore. A lovely adult drake, not often seen at such close range, but the diagnostic head shape, bright yellow eye, black nail on the tip of the bill, and the delicate mottled pattern on the sharp grey mantle were all observed brilliantly through the scope.
Around 40 Shoveler were present on East Warwick and No.1 (30 & 10), with another drake Goldeneye present on no.1. There were also around 15 Gadwall there.
Must return soon.