|Junction of Oxford & Grand Union|
I began by checking out the several feeding areas dotted around the grounds and the one thing that hit me straight away was the sheer amount of Reed Buntings we have on site. I don't think I'd be exaggerating If I said well over thirty. I'd also hazard a guess that during the current cold snap we've also had over eight inches of snow, guess I never did take to the metric system.
When I arrived at the marina entrance it was the first real opportunity I've had to take a good look at the canal itself. No surprises here to find it frozen and thus rendering any form of navigation an impossibility. It's at times like this that I'm pleased to be based in a marina during the winter months.
At the top end of the marina there is also a good sized area of reed bed which is always worth a little extra scrutiny. In 2010 during a similar cold period I was astonished when a fellow moorer knocked on my hatch to ask for identification of a bird he'd photographed from his boat window walking on the ice. It turned out to be a Bittern and so you can probably understand that each time I pass the area I tend to have visions of a return visit, sadly not on this occasion.