As ever, I had reckoned without the wind, which was blasting along the trent vale as ever. I arrived at Langford Lowfields having scared up a fair few small tortoiseshells from their sunbathing places on the tarmac, and seen a big buzzard settling into a stand of trees.
But when I arrived, something had changed. There were new signs on the path. Gates that were formally closed, had opened. Around phase 1 where people had feared to tread, couples with telescopes were freely wandering.
The reserve has been opened up.
Initially I set up in the hide a normal, and scanned the reedbed, and noticed sand martins and also my first swifts of the year; the screaming scimitars of the sky have returned! Plenty of white butterflies, large and small, and still there are wonderful citrus yellow brimstones in flight - I finally managed to stalk one to get a decent picture, see below.
Enough of that, I headed to the previously forbidden land, and ascending a bank and down the other side, I found myself at a quaint beach hut decked out with furniture, a sighings book and some lovely art and handy reference books.
I set off round the circular path, hearing for the first time the strange insectoid sound of grasshopper warblers reeling from the reeds, and seeing sand martins flit just over my head before sitting on the barbed wire fence. I was seeing the reed bed from a whole different angle, gettting a closer view of a duck enabling me to identify it as a gadwall, a new spot for me.
The wind howled along, but I saw warblers diving out of trees and back in again- whitethroats maybe? - and examined flowers. Over a floating bridge I went, seeing more swifts arriving on the breeze to feed.
This really is Spring, a new season, and a new reserve to visit
|Tired small tortoiseshell sunning itself|
|Brimstone at rest|
|Male small white|
|Birds foot trefoil|
|The Beach Hut|
|A new view of the reserve|
|The new walkway|
|A view of the hide I've never had before|