Now the weather has greatly improved, spent a bit of time in my garden and drive this morning and spotted the two now enormous Blackbird chicks sitting in the Buddleiah on their own and frankly looking rather stupid. Then a smart black white and grey bird joined them, which I realised was probably an immature great tit. Young sparrows about as well, clattering about on my fence with the adults, amid endless avian sparrowonic yackety yak that starts at morning twilight and never stops all day.
In the afternoon ran out to Willow Holt, where the sun was intermittently out and the meadows were looking splendid. Thought the warmer weather might bring out a few butterflies, and flitting amidst the long grass was a butterfly that wouldn't let me get anywhere near it for ages - it proved in the end to be my first Meadowbrown of the year. Saw a white of some kind at a distance, and also a small tortoisehell too, not very numerous this year compared to others, I reckon. Further round the river, in a patch of bramble and bindweed a Common Blue Damselfly was about, only the second damsel I've seen all year! I think the damsels and dragons have had a bad winter, I run a lot by water and see loads of them - no Banded Demoiselles in a spot I usually see plenty by the weir in town.
Finally, your incompetent, useless birdspotter in action. As I ran along the river bank as I exited Willow Holt, a small bird flew across my path and went into the trees, teasing me by staying just that crucial too many meters away to be seen clearly. I think it was a warbler of some kind - a slim elegant bird with a long tail that seemed to be consequently twitching, and a pale off white underside. I think I could make out brown on the head, so figured it for a female blackcap. I think.
Willow Holt is a lovely little spot for birds, and I really want to spend an hour or two quietly watching them and make a really good job of misidentifying them!