Spring officially arrived yesterday and today was a beautiful warm, sunny day - felt like the warmest day of the year so far.
I paid another visit to Brandon Marsh at lunchtime, accompanied by my daughter this time.
Still no sign of the lesser spotted woodpecker in Horsetail Glade, but we did hear a great spotted woodie drumming away. Lots of blue, great and long-tailed tits flitting around as we walked through the woods and plenty of robins too.
We spent quite a long time in the John Baldwin Hide overlooking East Marsh Pool watching coots, tufted ducks, mallard, canada and greylag geese, shovelers, black-headed gulls, pochard, teal, coots and lapwing.
A mute swan was having a really good preen
Mr and Mrs Shoveler
I couldn't persuade daughter to carry on to East Marsh, Teal Pool and Carlton Hides (I had rashly promised lunch in the cafe at the Visitor Centre and she was already keen to return!).
I managed to persuade her to walk round the main Onyx Nature Trail and we stopped off at the Wright Hide and saw a couple of ringed plover and a snipe on Willow Island.
We carried on past Newlands Reedbed and through New Hare Covert - a lot of blackbirds, wood pigeons and magpies around. Sadly, no sign of chiffchaffs or sand martins although both have been seen recently at the reserve.
There were several rabbits feeding by the wind pump overlooking grebe pool.
We saw quite a few buff-tailed bumble bees and I saw my first two butterflies of the year. Two commas were seen whilst we were walking around and a lovely butter-coloured male brimstone by the Visitor Centre
Comma - first photo showing the white "comma" on the hindwing that gives the species its name.
I had a nice lunch of cheese toastie with coleslaw and salad and Emily had a jacket potato with cheese. I managed to resist the temptation of the delicious looking cakes! The cafe overlooks bird tables and feeders and we watched a pied wagtail, feral pigeons, reed buntings, chaffinches, dunnocks and greenfinches feeding.
2011 Butterflies - 2 species seen