I may have mentioned before in these pages, that Our Lass is not in the least bit competitive. No... no way... not even a smidgeon. Therefore it came as something of a surprise, when a repeated Song Thrush phrase alerted me to an incoming text on my work phone. Expecting a summons to some far flung corner of the kingdom to sort out a technological problem, I was surprised for a second time, when I realised that it was from my better half.
At this point, I was wondering what winter-related mishap could have befallen the skeleton crew at Tense Towers, and so nervously opened the message.
"Moorhen!" it proclaimed.
Now we don't keep a Garden List of birds seen feeding within our modest plot (not competitive, remember), but Our Lass knows when a species is being recorded for the first time. Despite our location about 100 yards from a canal, we had not previously experienced a visit from a Moorhen in the time we've been in this corner of Milton Keynes. This has probably much to do with the numerous wooden fences between the Grand Union and Tense Towers, plus a fair bit of lack of attention on our part.
OK, so they're not remotely rare in the UK, but when something common turns up in an uncommon place, it does lift your day.
With great presence of mind, Our Lass fired up my camera, as it was close to hand and Wrong Len wasn't in residence. She managed to capture a few images before the Moorhen departed over a 10' Laurel hedge.
However, I was oblivious to the fact that she was on an absolute roll. Her garden sightings today also included Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail (Stumpy's back!), Fieldfare and Coal Tit. Whilst none of these were first timers, it was a good collection for a short day in a small garden.
It certainly raised my spirits after missing yesterday's lunar eclipse due to low cloud.