The fresh air of a fortnight ago seems but a distant memory, as since then I've been AWOB (absent without blog) with a viral infection. I struggled back to work a couple of days ago but the season appears to have stolen a... er... March on me? Friends and acquaintances have reported lots of Springy action, newts, chiffchaffs etc, so today I had a short wander out to sample the sights and sounds of a pleasantly warm, equinoctial morning.Certainly, the bees were a-buzzing around our winter-flowering honeysuckle, making the most of the available pollen, as I set off for Linford Lakes.
On leaving the car, the first sensory experience was the sheer amount of birdsong from the, mainly, resident congregation. It was all rather splendid, with the added bonus and singular charm of a Goldfinch leisurely running through his repertoire. Glorious sight, wonderful sound. Chiffchaffs were indeed "chiff, chaff"-ing, and from one of the hides I observed a Grey Heron collecting twigs for its nest.
Out on the lake, several male Goldeneyes were visible, resting up on their journeys northwards to their breeding grounds in Scotland and beyond. This didn't stop them reacting to the seasonal hormones coursing through their veins, and partaking of a spot of displaying.
I find this a most amusing sight. There is much foot splashing and then the head is thrown back, accompanied by a comedy duck quack. Priceless. I must admit that this shot was a complete fluke, it wasn't doing that when I pressed the button! To prove it, when I did try to capture the moment, I failed miserably.
Great Crested Grebes were being rather amorous too, though well out of camera range, so at least I was saved from having to make the decision of whether to photograph them mating or not. I believe that this photographic behaviour is referred to as pornithology.
Whilst walking back to the car, I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and, upon arriving home, there was a Brimstone in our neighbour's garden. Late in the afternoon, while I cooked dinner, our lass went for a walk with the Admiral, to ease the stress of her working day. Along the canal, they spotted Pike spawning in the shallows, and, in a nearby pond, there were about twenty frogs a-courting. Yep, Nature is definitely stirring.