These days are among the very best of the year.
For those of us who see and hear the same place day by day throughout the seasons the sudden transformations are little short of a miracle. Go back a week and we felt privileged to hear the songs of Chaffinch and Chiffchaff, names confusingly similar for completely different birds with completely different songs. Now the sheer beauty of the songs of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps provides a lovely backing to the home-grown Blackbirds, territorially spaced out across the woods and open land.
Our little residents who've been with us through winter months now feed at the Caff to the astonishingly rich accompaniment of three different warblers. Dining in style. There seems no competition between the regulars and the newcomers who don't feed at the bird table, quite unlike the winter warfare, mainly restricted to Robins, of which we now have just a pair. We must remember that the summer visitors qualify for UK passports, blue of course, having been born here, unlike the winter visiting robins who are Europeans currently persona non grata and the source of all evil for readers of certain newspapers.
Deer are currently enjoying the new leaves of Bilberry, plus young Rowan and Birch saplings, a welcome change from their restricted winter diet mainly consisting of bramble leaves.
This small herd is doing, unmanaged, wild and without subsidy, what SRWT would have us believe makes the introduction of cattle necessary. And doing it better and less intrusively in today's vivid Spring sunlight. And soon, too soon, the wretched cows will be dumped on us, and, forgive the reminder, dumping on us, just that. But you can understand the managers' view. We can't have the unmanaged doing a decent job. That's surely the preserve of managers! If we're not careful it will get about that nature can manage without human guidance.
Looking just a little unsure of himself a yearling stag sports his new velvets.