After a couple of days watching the trees bend in the wind and struggle to hold on to their leaves, we awoke this morning to bright, blue skies and only a light breeze. The down-side to clear mornings, is the drop in temperature which has been so noticeable today. Our thermometer had dipped over night to 0.6°C - not far off a frost. All was clear and bright at the Straw's Bridge lakes too. Lots of parked cars at 'Swan Lake' indicated lots of crusts for the birds, among which was this pair of Pochards (Aythya ferina). The male Pochard was showing his gorgeous colouration and his glowing, red eye. His mate was - as is usual for water fowl - much more drab.
Cygnus olor) which have been in residence all year were swimming around. The cygnet, hatched back in June SEE HERE, is now almost as large as it's parents and beginning to lose it's grey-brown plumage.
Polygonia c-album). It too was enjoying the sunshine, sitting on a nettle with wings open to catch every bit of warmth - necessary after such a cold night.