I defy anyone not to be a bird watcher at this time of year. Birds are quite simply everywhere during April and May, noisy and 'in your face', full of display and bravado as they press on with the matter in hand - breeding.
My first swallow of the year flew over the garden on April 11th, and there were a couple more at Partridge Lakes near Manchester a few days later.
Grey Wagtails have been much in evidence along the Henley-in-Arden brook near where I work, and chiffchaffs have been calling there in good numbers for a fortnight or more. In the last week they have been joined by willow warblers - I heard the first of those from the allotment last Wednesday.
With a couple of spare hours on Sunday J and I had hoped to get to Napton, but time didn't really permit (inevitable then that a stunning male redstart would turn up on the reservoir!). Instead we managed a 50 minute dash round Brandon Marsh, our first for ages.
It was great to be able to listen to the music of four warblers from a single spot (willow, cettis, chiffchaff and blackcap), and to catch sight of some of the regular wading birds - a pair each of redshank and little ringed plovers, plus a few lapwing. A longer return visit is clearly called for in the next couple of weeks, as is that postponed trip to Napton.