Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake. WALLACE STEVENS
A kink in the west-easterly-flowing Atlantic jet stream meant cold air coming in from the north, so the morning dawned cold with a frosty start. The high atmospheric pressure pointed to a fine, clear day with weak sunshine.
I decided to take a walk in the Trent valley not far from my home, and thought it would be fun to list all the different species of bird I saw along the way. I made a flask of coffee, packed some lunch, found camera and binoculars, then set off towards the river. It was chilly, so I was glad of my thermals, my fleece, my hat and my gloves. The habitat through which I walked was sparse woodland, arable farmland, meadow, river and lake. These are the birds I spotted, thirty-three in all:
Wood pigeon, collared dove, crow, rook, jackdaw, blackbird, starling, chaffinch, blue tit, great tit, robin, grey heron, cormorant, dunnock, great spotted woodpecker, pheasant, black-headed gull, green plover, Canada goose, greylag goose, coot, moorhen, little grebe, goosander, tufted duck, mallard, goldeneye, wigeon, pochard, gadwall, shoveler, shelduck, whooper swan.
The pheasant on the list I only heard not saw, but I'm counting it. However, I haven't counted two species of gull which I wasn't sure about. I'm hopeless at identifying gulls.
At one point a huge flock of geese (probably pink-footed) several hundred strong flew high above me in a V formation. Geese and other migratory birds use the Trent as a navigational aid.
Spring was definitely in the air despite the cold weather. Birds were pairing up, and rooks and cormorants were ferrying materials to patch up their nests.