Six million hits on YouTube and quite a few of them must have been me! Just a little reminder, if any were needed, that music is supposed to be fun.
Now what have I been up to? Nothing as raucous as the music suggests, merely a few walks in the countryside....
That photo might make you think that we're suffering severe flooding on the flat lands of East Anglia, but that's how it's supposed to be at this time of year. Those are the "washes" alongside the river at Lakenheath Fen - land left to flood during the winter, which prevents flooding further downstream. I was standing on the floodbank, built to protect the land behind me.
It's a winter wonderland for birds and, though you can see only a couple of Mute Swans and some loitering gulls, there were also Marsh Harriers, Great White Egrets, Little Egrets and several cheeky little Stonechats in attendance. But no Whooper Swans; they were all off feeding on the fields.
The same was true at Welney the following day: almost all of the winter swans were out gorging themselves on the waste from the potato harvest and didn't even bother to return for the 3:30 swan feed which the wildlife wardens carry out to entertain the paying customers.
Despite the relative lack of swans and the height of the floodwaters on the Ouse Washes, the warden carried out his duty. Those swans around the floating wheelbarrow are our resident Mute Swans, while just one Whooper Swan watches from behind. Mallards are willing volunteers to clear up any grain that hasn't yet sunk to the bottom and, when it does, the Pochards, a little diving duck, will plunge down and feed underwater.
As daylight failed the ghostly shapes of the Whoopers flew in to roost on the water. Just about impossible to photograph conventionally, though I managed to rescue the image above from some muddy-looking pixels. The trouble is the swans look black and, in this hemisphere at least, they should be dazzling white. Ah, an idea!
Mess about with a negative picture and you get the above image: the ghost-swans of Welney!
Flying swans like an artist's sketch.
Let's not get too carried away with photo-manipulation though, the natural scene had its charms too, even if that dark bank of cloud hid the expected sunset.
Then the bird-observatory's floodlights came on, illuminating the birds in the foreground. As darkness fell we made our way back across the bridge to the Visitor Centre.
I hope you like the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's reserve at Welney, because my brother and I have taken out an annual membership, which almost certainly means we'll be back during the year.
When I recently published my calendar selection of the year's photographs, I received comments about the appearance of snowdrops in February. Here's what I saw in Melwood yesterday:
Yes, indeed. Snowdrops on the second of January. Not many, but snowdrops nevertheless. Not only that, but at Lakenheath Fen on December 23rd a Brimstone butterfly fluttered by. Presumably something had roused him from his winter hibernation. I wondered whether it would survive this unseasonal awakening, but, according our local butterfly correspondent, Brimstones can wake up and go back into hibernation several times during a winter.