Monday, 12th February 2001, West Yorkshire
BEECH TREES look good against a blue sky as we walk up Oxley Bank, a low sandstone ridge that overlooks Bretton Country Park. There's a welcome springlike warmth which has brought a butterfly out of hibernation. We don't get a close-up view, but it looks quite dark, so I guess that it is a Peacock.
I'm surprised to see a group of six drake Goosanders on the main lake, that's as many as I've ever seen together. Then I scan across with binoculars and notice that beyond them, near the island, there are a further 18 (but I think there are some females amongst these). I'm beginning to doubt what I'm seeing so I check it out with a local birdwatcher. He explains to me that at one time 2 or 3 goosanders were as many as you could expect to see on Bretton Lake. Recent winters have regularly brought larger numbers.
This day last year