I made the usual mistake I afraid - I came back from holiday and threw myself into work, exams, DIY, more work etc etc. And the result? A very stressed hornet indeed.
As usual, the antidote was an early Sunday morning and a walk around the local patch.
Leam Valley was quiet at 6.30am, just the way I like it. Chaffinches and Wrens called out everywhere, joined by a Sedge Warbler as I moved along the River Leam and several Chiffchaffs. A Great Spotted Woodpecker near the river was nice, but a Green Woodpecker drinking from the scrape right in front of me was better.
Skylarks sang high over Offchurch Bury, the land turned blue with flax (also known as linseed). Jackdaws called vigourously, and a lone Swallow flew past. The weir was quiet, all wintering Cormorants long since gone, but male Banded Demoiselles erupted from the riverside grasses, a lovely sight.
A quiet morning by the standards of many birders, but a perfect one for me.