It was fate that on a day when the French turned out in their millions to demonstrate against a bloody challenge to democracy, I found myself walking around Tredegar House Lake with a pencil wedged between the pages of my naturalist field note book - Je suis Charlie! That said my attempt to fashion a satirical cartoon out of an up-ending pintail failed miserably.
The lake was well populated with water birds with gulls preferring the open water and wildfowl tucked into the shelter of the tree and reed fringed western end. The count was therefore reasonably healthy with a single male pintail, two mute swan, singles of grey heron and cormorant, eight little grebe, 18 tufted duck and a population of coot, moorhen and mallard. The raft of gulls included four herring, a single lesser black-backed, c 200 black headed and a single adult winter Mediterranean. To finish off a lap around the outskirts of Tredegar House in the hope of a black redstart produced nothing more an goldcrest, goldfinch, mistle thrush and pied wagtail.