I managed to fit in a double dose of outside goodness today.
First up, I had a morning walk along the cycle path, and then across Grange Road to Sconce Park. The wind was howling, but in the oak wood next to the flooded River Devon, all was sheltered and calm, and the great and blue tits were going about their agile business on the twigs and branches. Once specimen was even checking out the nest box there, toes grasping the wood as it peered inside. Another sign of spring, even if the daffodils in the wood aren't out yet.
Blackbirds were crashing about in the leaf litter, keeping a wary eye on me as I crept quietly along on the dreaded bark path used on the Parkrun course. No treecreeper for me today, and no long tailed tits either.
In the afternoon, I headed the other way, a gentle half jog and walk to Clay Lane and Beacon Hill Park. There was a beautiful little flock of redwing in the horse pastures next to the lane, looking for food amidst the mud and large puddles of standing rainwater. At a distance, in my little field glasses, the pale eye stripe is the standout feature, much more prominent than the crimson "wound" upon their flanks.
After a tricky and sludgy walk up the hill to Beacon Hill, as blue tits flitted among the hip bushes, I found myself on the nature reserve, and a little way along the path, I observed a chubby female bullfinch in the tree above me. The main meadow had a large impromptu meeting of the magpie committee in one corner, and a solitary rabbit looked at me nervously in the opposite corner.
But I have no intention of bunny hunting, so cotton-tail was quite safe, as I headed home for a much needed hot cup of tea!