This morning the reserve really looked the biz. The floodwater is a real pain in respect of access but under blue skies and sunshine it adds a whole new dimension to the beauty of the place. The sun was packing quite a bit of warmth from quite early on and as it warmed the place up so the activity increased. Wigeon and Teal whistles echoed all round the place, across the Swale somewhere the barking of Brent Geese could be heard and best of all, Skylarks rained down there song as though to say, Spring is here!
After the winter we've had, sudden days like this on the marsh are magical and I realise what it is about the marsh that I so love. In some ways, as I always do, I can do no better than refer to a passage in the Wind in the Willows, where Ratty is describing what the River means to him, because it could also be my feelings on the marsh.
" Its my world, and I don't want any other. What its not got isn't worth having .... Whether in winter or summer, spring or autumn, its always got its fun and its excitements. When the floods are on in February, and my cellars and basements are brimming with drink thats no good to me, and the brown water runs by my best bedroom window; or again when it all drops away and shows patches of mud that smells like plum-cake, and the rushes and weed clog the channels, and I can potter about dry-shod over most of the bed of it......"
Earlier this afternoon, with my patio facing south and there being no wind, I dragged out a chair and sat in a very warm sun, and its surprising what appears around as you simply do that.
For the second day running a Bumble Bee buzzed around the heathers and two Ladybirds appeared on the leaf of a shrub alongside me. A pair of Dunnocks came out from the base of my hawthorn hedge and chased each other around with lots of wing flicking, before the male flew to the top of a bush and serenaded me for a while with its scratchy song. Above a nest box in a crab apple tree, a Great Tit "teachered" away for ages, trying to impress any female in the area, and then to put the icing on the cake, a Peacock butterfly flew past me.
A bit poetic and perhaps fingers down the thoat stuff for some people - but for me, it was simply "what a day."