This morning was my first real patch walk for months - up and out the house before 7am, and ready to enjoy some absolutely superb weather.
The temperature was warm, the light was lovely and the air was full of the sounds and scents of early summer. It was a real treat for the ears with Wren, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Sedge Warbler and a lone Willow Warbler among my favourite vocalists - but the highlight was a sporadic-singing Cuckoo, my first at Leam Valley.
Other birds on show included a pair of Mistle Thrush, a pair of Tufted Ducks, a few Long-tailed Tit, a male Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, a pair of Swallows low over the scrape, and a high solitary Swift.
But the real star was the reserve itself and the surrounding countryside - early morning sunlight streaming through the new leaves, the scrape bursting into life with reedbeds beginning to take hold, and yellow being this year's colour on the Offchurch Bury fields (rape seed after last year's blue linseed / flax). No photographs of birds then, but a few bits of scenery - the aforementioned sunlight through leaves, the view from the hide back towards the recently burned St Nicholas Church in Radford, and those fields of rapeseed.
Bird of the day: Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), a striking warbler with a wonderful mellifluous song.