Much to the amusement of two ladies in a sandwich van across from the Travelodge car-park my progression to the car was gradual, comical and resembled a Michael Jackson moon walk due to the black ice resulting from recent rain and cold conditions. So, first hurdle over, what might the day bring!
Progress south around Edinburgh was unhindered, with road conditions seemingly safe. But then the journey through the Borders saw a snow clothed landscape and roads needing at least a little respect! Ever onward I moved south and decided to have a break in north Lancashire at the RSPB Leighton Moss Reserve at which a Glossy ibis was present and had been seen earlier in the morning. By this time the snow had disappeared but visibility was moderate only with mist and general gloom. So I spent a couple of hours or so seeing very little for my pains, even to the point of waiting for the bird to fly into roost! With the gloom getting worse and darkness fast approaching I set off south again to experience some of the worse driving conditions I've encountered for a long time. Rain and thick mist on the motorway brought things almost to a halt, with spray being a huge problem. Having cut eastwards on the M62, the poor weather was left behind once the journey up the western flanks of the Pennines had been completed and, despite the recurrent setbacks, the rendezvous with Matthew was secured within a few minutes of my arriving at the service station. Not the best of days and little seen or secured as far as birds were concerned despite calling on St. Jude!!!