December 18th was my third visit to Swillington Ings to try for the glossy ibis. I set off from the 'Crane' end as I usually refer to it as opposed to the causeway end because the later is still flooded. On my walk birders coming back had good news if the ibis would only stay out in the open until I got there! It did.
Stonechat on my walk back plus Welsh mountain ponies and some seasonal rose hips.
December 19th: a fairly long excursion to Crosby Marine Lake near Liverpool to try to see a black-throated diver. Up close and personal if possible! On arrival I realised that in the cold wind it was quite unpleasant and the lake seemed fairly deserted apart for an area at the North end where gulls and coots were clustering. I guessed they'd found a sheltered spot. Bleak and uninviting. I scanned the area with my bins. I headed back towards the South end of the lake where I spotted a small group of three birders. The chap in a wheelchair was chatty and had a Canon R6 with a lightweight 600m lens. For once because I suspected the bird might be distant I reverted to the 7D camera plus my old 500mm lens with a 1.4 extender giving me 700mm reach. Good decision.
First view after which the bird kindly came a lot closer.