Before I entered the reserve, a small mixed tit flock caught my attention as they worked along the treeline and across to the allotments. I casually put the bins up to see if anything interesting tagging along and was pleased to find a Coal Tit amongst them - first I've seen here and the closest to home that I've ever seen one.
Once in the reserve, I walked around to the reedbed and watched, waited, listened. A sizeable group of Goldfinches went over, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker noisily called, but nothing from the reeds. Maybe they are the wrong type of reeds ...
No. 3 in the Titless Reedbed series ...
The wrong reeds ...
I carried on around the reserve, noting a couple of smart Bullfinches, but it was generally quiet aside from common species. I noticed some fungi and went off-piste to have a look. Turned out to be a great slice of luck as once again on this reserve I inadvertently put up a Woodcock.
Lots of these flowering in the damp woodland ...
Is it normal for Red Campion to flower in mid-November?
I decided to head up to Cossington again, but almost as soon as hitting the motorway the fog was building again. I changed my plan and headed to Groby Pool instead. Still foggy but nowhere near as poor as yesterday's weather.
As ever, manky hybrid ducks and tame feral geese were cluttering the steps and pathway on the southern shore. There was a single drake Pochard that seemed to have drifted too far away from the rest of the ducks whilst sleeping, though he soon woke up and drifted off once I started to point the camera.
I headed on to the reedbed and bumped into Ben Croxtall and Andy Forryan. Before I had a chance to engage in any conversation we were all watching another small tit flock. A few Goldcrests were tagging along, and there was also the unusual sight of a tail-less Long-tailed Tit. A Kingfisher flashed past a couple of times whilst we waited in vain.
We all headed around to the public footpath to get a better view of the reedbed, stopping on the way to watch the comings and goings of a range of species coming to some seed laid out on a large flat stone. Overall we saw three Marsh Tits, a Nuthatch, two Great-spotted Woodpeckers, a Coal Tit along with a few Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches, Robins and Dunnocks.
Another Kingfisher, a smart Jay and a flyover Siskin were noted, but the reedbed though remained resolutely quiet ..
No. 4 in the Titless Reedbed series ...
Before heading back onto the main path I noted this impressive looking bracket fungus. No idea what it is.
After a bit of a natter, I headed back to the car. The conditions seemed to be deteriorating so I called it a day and headed home after checking through the various ducks and gulls on the water (nothing exciting).
All in all a great morning out in the field, enjoying both a bit of solitude and peace at the first site and some amiable conversation with like-minded souls at the second. Civilised birding, just like it should be.