Following a hectic day, when Our Lass suggested an evening wander at Stantonbury Lake, I was only too pleased to have the chance for some fresh air. Grabbing our bins, we made it to the reserve just before sunset, the cool evening air heavy with the scent of Blackthorn blossom and damp grass.
A dog Fox ran across the track in front of us, his thick brush trailing behind him like some 1920s aviator's scarf. By the boardwalk, we startled a Muntjac deer, who melted out of sight into the willow scrub. We then settled down in the hide to scan the southern half of the lake and the bund.
On this site, wader numbers aren't that great at the moment, possibly due to lack of control of both water level and rampant vegetation. However, we did spot a few Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Little Ringed Plover, their calls ebbing and flowing across the water as they flew along the bund. As dusk fell, three pairs of Coot took it upon themselves to try and drown each other in a noisy, splash-laden territorial dispute. As we left, it was still going on in near darkness, the sounds of pure liquid testosterone echoing around the lake.
Our walk back to the car was audibly accompanied by a Song Thrush and a Cetti's Warbler. All in all, a most pleasant end to the day.