I was tipped off by a neighbour that a little owl had found a regular roost in a damaged tree in their paddock. I attempted to photograph it earlier in the week but the light was dreadful, so this morning in the sunshine I crept up to the tree and tried again. Success!!
A morning walk along the river loop confirmed the mass arrival of willow warblers with at least 5 birds singing in the small, scrubby patch I know as 'warbler wood'. I had hoped to find common sandpiper on the Swale today with records of birds coming in during the week from even further inland. I was not optimistic when I saw that the river was in flood... the usual sandy scrapes and gravelly beaches on which I find them in the summer were very underwater. However, my luck was in as I flushed a bird from under a row of willows.
Later today I came across what I thought was a second bird at Langton, but on inspection when I got home I found it was the green sandpiper that's been hanging around all year.
Alas there were few other arrivals; the number of swallows has increased but is still a long way short of the number that will dot the skies in May. There was still plenty to see though with roe deer and fox crossing my path this evening.
Finally, I took this picture of blue tits in the blossom. While it won't win any competitions, I like the 'japanese pottery' feel to it.