I’m not sure if this really counts as low-carbon birding in the strictest sense, but I was passing in my car so parked up and took Ned for a walk around the perimeter path at Arlington Reservoir. I had ambitiously packed my sketchbook and pencil but realised soon after that the birds were too far away even through bins. I did have my Pond & River Birds logbook though and enjoyed watching a Great Crested Grebe carving a gentle path through the glass-like water. Coots too, and I did see a flock of ducks murmurating over the other side of the reservoir. It was one of those days where the low, bright light threw everything in to sharp shadow so I could identify a duck from a gull but beyond that I was a bit lost!

I heard Wigeons calling, and a couple of Shags sat in their usual hunched-up stance, and Comorants flew low across the water, almost skimming the surface, prompting me to want to shout “Duck!” to the ducks…

There were hi-vizzed groundsmen trimming the hedges along the path which rather dented the peace and calm, but that January sunshine was so so welcome and I sat and soaked up the rays on my face while Ned sat looking angelic, watching everyone go past.

I understand Arlington Reservoir is a fabulous spot for birding and I would like to go back when I have a little more time…and wellies…and coffee. We used to go there occasionally when the children were younger, and I remember seeing and hearing a Nightingale in some of the scrub which was a lovely surprise, and I know ospreys visit as they pass through on migration.

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