Walking into work on a beautiful, crisp winter morning failled to yield any year ticks, until that is, I arrived in the gardens and was greeted by these. Pinching myself to ensure that I wasn't dreaming and a quick mental review of the previous night's activities told me I was not suffering an alcohol-induced hallucination!
During the recent freezing conditions, we received many reports of unusual birds in gardens, including Jack Snipe, Bittern, Little Egret and Oystercatcher, but this is one species we did not expect to see.
Luckily, Steve had also arrived early, so was able to obtain evidence of the record, albeit from a distance. As Lodge staff began to arrive, the birds were spooked and soon disappeared.