The Safari was worried that our fish would be blown out of the pond in the stormy gale last night - crikey it was fierce at times.
Shortly after lunch we were able to nip out to the nature reserve to look for the recent Firecrest. The walk across the field gave us a Fieldfare that was flying over being seriously buffeted by the still strong wind before it landed in the top of one of the Apple trees.
Once at the viewing platform we set about looking low through the low Brambles. In the ferocious wind we weren't overly hopeful but a movement in the 'wrong' direction gave us a Robin poking around amongst the leaflet and lowermost branches.
It was then we noticed that there were a good number of Bluebells starting to show some more than just starting to show too.
Another movement a little higher up this time got our juices flowing but it turned into a Goldcrest rather than the preferred Firecrest...not that there's anything wrong with Goldcrests they're lovely.
Once it had disappeared BD arrived so now there were two pairs of eyes looking.
Both the Robin and the Goldcrest reappeared but not the wanted Firecrest.
We had a look across the water and immediately picked up a Great Crested Grebe (MMLNR #42). Lots of Black Headed Gulls came through but there weren't many larger gulls with them and no sign of the Iceland Gull. A smaller bird near a female Goldeneye was sailing away from us but we knew it was a year bird, a Little Grebe (79, MMLNR #43).
Out on the water the flotilla of Canada Geese still held the dubious Barnacle Goose which was a totally new bird for B although being totally dubious it won't be going on our year list.
We had a wander down to the see if any Long Eared Owls were showing, maybe not in the horrid weather - a hail storm just blew over but thankfully we were still under the cover of the trees. Yes the usual one was in its usual place but as usual only its body was visible and not its beautiful amber eyes.
It was a bit raw stood there out in the elements so back under cover for another look for the Firecrest we went. We had a quick shuffy at a different part of the reserve just in case but again without success although a Woodcock (80, MMLNR #44) was disturbed by something unseen.
Time to cut our losses and leave before more weather arrived, that meant walking back into the biting wind but it did give us the flock of Linnets (81, MMLNR #45) looking for somewhere sheltered to roost.
Just a couple of hours out in the weather but better out than in we say.
Where to next? We'll be out on safari again tomorrow probably somewhere northward.
In the meantime let us know who the imposter is in your outback.