A few more new species have added to the year list in recent days with a check of the houses round the village green producing House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Greenfinch, plus a couple of Lapwings over the fields.
Today produced the first Lesser Redpoll of the year in the Crossbill larches, and then whilst waiting down by the lake in hope for the Barn Owl which had managed to elude me so far this year, I was somewhat puzzled with the behaviour of the ducks on the lake which seemed to be being periodically spooked by something and kept on taking flight in a rather alarmed manner.
After a while I suddenly spotted a head and back of something in the water in front of the reedbed and upon raising my bins was shocked to see that it was an Otter! It quickly disappeared under the surface but after five minutes or so, it again reappeared in front of the reedbed and then swam along the edge of the lake and into the corner by the Mandarin trees where it was seen to catch a couple of fish which it quickly consumed before heading back towards the reedbed and disappearing once again.
Although it was more or less constantly on the move, I managed to get a quick snap whilst it paused briefly to devour one of the fish, and although the fading light and distance wasn't conducive to getting a great pic, its still a nice record of a brilliant patch tick.
Heading back to the car, the Barn Owl finally gave itself up and did a couple of fly-pasts before heading off across the meadow to round off a great afternoon.