It was a double date with nature on this really nice day.
Morning took me out to Willow Holt by bike, for a quiet sit in the sun to see what I might see. Everything looked pretty pretty - flowers were out, river quiet and teeming with ducks and geese, and sadly for you all, the author shamelessly shirtlessly sunbathing while poking around the river end of the holt taking photos - of which more later when my phone is charged.
Lots of birds at their usual "A-ha, you can't see me properly if I'm over here peasant!" distance, but I was hoping that being you know, all quiet and still and stuff would get rewarded and so it proved.
In a Willowy shrubby thing next to the river, some flitting, jerky movements caught my attention while I was photographing a bumblebee in a bramble flower. And there they were, a small flock of very slender little brown birds, long tails constantly twitching. At first I almost thought they were Goldcrests, so small they were in the body. But the understated beige underside and darker grey upper, plus what looked like a pale stripe through the eye with darker edging. I've ummed and ahhed all day - habitat and picture, well Cetti's Warbler seems to be possible, I know there are some round here. But do they go in small flocks? Please help, if anyone reads this.
After this enjoyable sunbathe (putting my shirt back on when any middle aged women passers by appeared with their dogs!) headed back to town along the river. Butterflies out in greater numbers, tortoiseshells and I think a few peacocks, but also more Common Blue Damselflies, possibly courting. Bloody neaon teases, I could never get my cameraphone close enough to photograph them. BUT I WILL KEEP TRYING!!!
This afternoon, I ran about 10k along london road lake and up the hill to Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill I scared up a fair few speckled woods, and saw another of those skipper butterflies - black tipped antennae, I was nerdy enough to look this time, this I believe indicates a large skipper. Lots of bramble blossom, and in the nursery these flowers like blue dandelions - cornflowers? By the river, a splendidly jurassic looking cormorant was hanging out its wings to dry.
And after this very sweaty run, I earned my drying off session - in the sun, on a recliner, reading about Jeff Buckley, a man who's good looks I envied intensely!