And so began our weekend.
The next morning dawned bright and clear, the night's frost soon disappeared and warm sunshine greeted us on our short journey to the local nature reserve. On the off chance of an early damsel or dragon, we tarried by the pond-dipping pool. Sadly, there were no odes, but frog and toad spawn was much in evidence. Indeed, throughout the day, toads were calling and occasional splashes hinted at further romantic activity.
High above the water surface, the reed mace was busy shedding seeds in a gentle breeze. It was admirably helped in this endeavour by a small squadron of Blue Tits, which we presumed were busy gathering nesting material.
Suddenly, a churring sound jolted us from this fluffy reverie, as a Grasshopper Warbler began singing from a bush at the back of the pond. Sweet!
We wandered on a few yards further along the path to a handy bench. Sitting here, looking over the lake, we spotted a tern sat on a post. Bill colour, wing length and short legs hinted that this was an Arctic Tern, pausing on its way northward. Indeed, when a few Common Terns landed on adjacent posts, it was easy to see the differences between the two species.
Plants were making up for lost time too, Cowslip and Dog Violet now joining the Primroses and Coltsfoots which lined the path. Some yellow Gorse flowers were looking particularly splendid in the morning sun, but more abundant were the male catkins of Willow trees.
Having spent all Winter watching small finches at the top of Alder trees, I was pleasantly surprised to find this Redpoll feeding on seeds at ground level, on a branch blown into the water by some strong winds the preceding week.
We returned to the pond-dipping pool several times during the day, but remained ode-less. However, the amphibian antics kept us entertained and then Our Lass capped a cracking day by pointing out a Cuckoo as it flew by.