The rain woke me before I was due to get up but thankfully it had moved through by the time I left at 7.10, a few Robins and Blackbirds were trying to wake the other birds as I made my way down to the lake, I stood near the reedy end of the lake hoping a stray Bittern might just take to the air! I am an incurable optimist. I was suddenly aware of dark shadow hurtling by at about head height only a few metres away, it turned just after it passed me and lifted just above the treetops, it was male Sparrowhawk judging from the size, another early rising raptor.
With limited time, as ever, I went and waited by the corner of the moat, Feildfares and Redwings were the most active for the first few minutes then, a good range of finches called as they left their respective roosts, mainly Chaffinches but a few Redpoll, Siskin, Goldfinch and Linnet were all heard over the next 15mins or so. It appears so far this year I should be extra vigilant just as I'm leaving, with Peregrine and Pied Wagtail being added to the year list at the end of recent visits, today was no exception a last look across the brightening view revealed a LITTLE EGRET (65) sitting on the edge of a freshly flooded area in the fields, how it got there without me seeing it when I was by the moat, is a mystery but it was a pleasant surprise and a nice way to end the visit.