After a delicious (but not exactly early!) breakfast, we were drawn outside by bright sun and clear air. Our Christmas walk was a complete delight and the camera was kept very busy.

I will no doubt post some shots before long but, for the moment, just this one will suffice. As I was pointing my lens in another direction, Frances let a strangulated shout of “Look, over there”. There was no doubt at all about it. There, on the other side of the almost frozen river, was a creature that we know to live in these watery areas (and know to be increasingly numerous) but which is still massively shy – the otter.

I did not have a telephoto lens with me and the width of the river put a limit on how close I could try to get. I took about ten shots with the zoom at the max and got a succession of photographs of not entirely convincing black blobs. It was the very first shot that proved to be the convincing one.

Here is the above shot enlarged to a point that makes for quite a nice shot and . . .

again . . . to about as far as I could go before the image began to break up.

Another sunny but cold Christmas Day years ago, when we were also enjoying our own pleasures before family arrivals on subsequent days, I saw a kingfisher for the first time here. That was a memorable moment to say the least and today will surely fix in the memory in the same way. Wonderful!