30 April 2005

April is a splendid month

Whatever T.S Eliot may have believed, April is a truly splendid month. In March, we are still so close to winter, with every day carrying the threat of cold, wet or both. Each and every sign of spring is greeted with delight, as if we can't quite believe it is all going to happen again. By April, we are much more relaxed about everything. The bulbs are up, the migrants are returning, and the cricket season has started again (although that, ironically, is when the snow tends to come back for one last appearance).

Sadly, I've been working through most of it. There has been birding of course - Leam Valley has its Chiffchaffs back, Draycote Reservoir is awash (or so it seems) with passing Little Gulls, and at Minsmere, the internationally renowned RSPB reserve, I enjoyed Sand Martin, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and Avocet - all signs that summer is on her way back.

For dull and technical reaons, I haven't done much photography of late, but this little smasher was one of two Little Ringed Plover at Draycote on April 24th. The picture may not be the finest, but the bird is undeniably beautiful.

ps. If any birders are reading, it would be remiss of me to mention the Minsmere trip without mentioning Dartford Warbler and Med Gulls - both lifers for me - and Cetti's Warblers - not lifers, but the first time I have enjoyed uninterupted and close-to views of this little smasher.
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