I am afraid I have been one of the casualties of the winter season of flu and chest infections etc.
At the beginning of December, just before it snowed I had lunch down at a very quiet Newton Marsh, which being frozen over had little to show. However the ditch as you enter had a small patch of open water where a few Shoveler and Teal had congregated. Shoveler always make me laugh as they appear to be 'work in progresss' and I guess Platypus come to mind for obvious reasons. I've included a couple of (poor) Teal photos as the females in particular when viewed against and in the context of the reflective mud demonstrate their camouflage and the males made me wonder about the moiré effect and if this confuses raptors.
WARNING, upon leaving and joining the A584 there was a car wrapped around the traffic lights. Fortunately nobody badly hurt, but I have had several 'close encounters' with cars simply running through the (red) lights and a VW with burning rubber as it ran across the junction on full lock-up! Do be careful at this junction, green light or not, go slowly and look both ways at all times. I understand Lancashire County Council will be introducing new traffic calming measures but that may be some time.
Enjoy Xmas and Best Wishes to all for 2011.