Now is undoubtedly my favourite time of year bar none. By Easter weekend there are signs of Spring everywhere - bird song, buds on trees, daffodils and crocuses, a hundred lawnmowers going in every street. The only difficulty is being torn between the garden and birding - happily this weekend I have managed to fit in a lot of both.
In the garden, the beds have been dug through, plants moved, new beds dug out and planted, the veg is in, the lawn scarified, and everything looks ship-shape ready for the growing season.
With birding, I am a little less up to date. Already the first return migrants are in the country (and indeed in this county) but I am yet to connect. Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, Wheatear and assorted waders have come back from Africa and are being reported all over the place, but here on my patch of semi-rural land near Leamington Spa, Spring is breaking out in infinitely more subtle ways.
Sky Lark and Meadow Pipit are trilling their songs high above the farmland. Cock Yellowhammer are singing in all their mustard finery. And everywhere birds go two by two - my best sighting of yesterday being two Tree Sparrow within a kilometre of my home. These wonderful little farmland birds seem sadly to be in long-term decline, so any sighting these days is enough to warm the heart. These were my first ever in Warwickshire, so fingers crossed for a successful, and fruitful, pairing.