Couldn't even get out for a walk on Christmas Day as by the time I opened my pressies and waded through the mountains of food it was a few minutes of 4 and time to open "some" of the boxes/tins/packets of sweeties I received. Boxing Day I was up early and away although the weather wasn't the brightest but still great to get out. Big Waters level seemed to have dropped a bit as when I was there a couple of day ago the island was not in view at all but now you could see a couple of inches.
The pond was filled with Wigeon and Mallard with a few Coot, 3 Tufted Duck and a solitary Goldeneye. Plenty of Gulls around and at one stage up to 7 Cormorant and 8 Mute Swans. Greylags and Canadas dropped in and out from the North Field with a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk sitting high on the Alders keeping an eye on things.
In the Feeding Station Charlie S was awaiting the arrival of the Water Rail and sure enough it put in a quick in and out in its normal style and a opportunity for one pic only which I took with the wrong set up as I had been playing with the dials as usual so all I got was a completely dark pic so the Shadow Protection was tweeked to its fullest and at least you can tell what it is. No doubt Charlie's were more than a notch better than mine.
A Kingfisher shot through the perches did a fly round without bothering to stop and headed down the pond towards the public end never to be seen for the rest of the visit. The Willow Tits were in and out very frequently and managed to see 3 in view at the same time.
Other regulars included the Great and Blue Tits, Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, lots of Moorhens, Goldfinches, Dunnocks, Chaffinches, a Wren and the Robins.
The hide was quite busy for Boxing Day with Alan J, Graeme B, Trevor and bumping into Steve W on the way out. With the heavy rain showers increasing a couple of rainbows were showing but it was time to go as the BBC had decreed it would rain from 1300 hrs although the first heavy showers did hit us about 1100 but whats a couple of hours between us (the TV licence paying public) and the BBC's (highly paid weather forecasters) interpretation of the Meteorological Office Office forecasts.
Note the 2nd Rainbow in the distance
Finally on the way out we did spot a few Bullfinches flying around the car park.
On return to my humble abode I was met by my own little wild thing (no, not the wife) who was sitting
waving his huge paw at me in a threatening/begging gesture (yes, a bit like the wife) for his treats.