For whatever reason - poor research and homework or bad luck meant that today didn't go to plan. My hoped for Short-eared Owls and Barn Owl, didn't appear and the Long-eared Owls at Deeping Lakes were brown blobs obscured by the twiggy mess of the trees in which they were roosting.
However, it still turned out to be a pleasant morning. The drive along Deeping High Bank proved fruitless, and we parked up at the nature reserve. There were a few thrushes around the car park, and on the lakes a few Goldeneye and other ducks and Great Crested Grebe.
I saw a single tree creeper but failed to see any Long-eared Owl. Asking a local birder where the best place was to watch from, I realised I had over-looked them somehow and went back and only then saw the birds when they were pointed out to me by a guy with a scope. They were so well-hidden and I think I can be forgiven for missing them first time round (just). I might go back in the hope of seeing them perched out in the open.
Returning to the car park, the camera was kept busy by a Fieldfare playing peek-a-boo and a very photogenic Blackbird with his red berries.
We had a drive around the lanes in search of a Short-eared Owl, to no avail, but the day was rescued by stunning views of a Common Buzzard along Deeping High Bank and a Kestrel near Deeping St. Nicholas. I might try again for the owls in the New Year and get on site for dawn.