What can I say? Plenty of reasons (life), no excuses - I just haven't had the time to sit down and put hands to keyboard.
However, here by way of a catch-up is a whirlwind review of the birding I managed in April.
I've taken a couple of trips to Leam Valley, where spring has been bursting out but the birding has been relatively quiet. Highlights there included some nice photographs of Chiffchaffs and Song Thrushes (one of which is top left), watching an ambitious fox put to flight by a pair of Swans, and finding my first Tufted Ducks on the scrape. Told you it had been quiet.
A trip to Essex enlivened things a bit - at Fingringhoe Wick I enjoyed the coastal aspect, including plenty of Little Egret, Golden Plover, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew and other common waders. At nearby Abberton I was able to photograph a bold pair of Linnets (a photographic first) , and the next day on the Blackwater Estuary I found a handful of Ruff and some late-staying Brent Geese among others.
Back on my patch, Ufton Fields made for an enjoyable early morning walk last weekend - again, nothing outstanding to report, but lots of the more common birds to enjoy - including my first Tufted Ducks at Ufton, a pair of Little Grebes and plenty of freshly-returned warblers.
And finally I managed to squeeze in a really quick visit to Brandon, where birding of late has been pretty good. Others have managed to find such rare Warwickshire birds as Ring Ouzel and Wood Warbler - I was happy however with a more modest haul including Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, four Common Tern, some late Sand Martins and a Hobby flying high over East Marsh Pool.