ON the Levels today there were two things out in force - mosquitoes and sand martins - thousands of them.
Lots and lots of mozzies
The bitterns were also booming strongly - the call starts with a stuttering burpy noise, then goes fully into the resonant bottle top blowing - very strange. However hard I looked I did not see the bird. I did manage to great a great view of a sky wheeling marsh harrier and my first hobby of the year.
Thanks to the couple that I met today who pointed out a fantastic male adder curled up by the track. It was also accompanied by a beautiful gold and black female - I think that we may have been gooseberries!
Willow warblers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps were singing in the sunshine. This blackcap was particularly tame:
The great crested grebes have all paired up and at this time of year can be seen dancing their exotic courting ritual...this was was just fishing:
Great crested grebe
Fortunately the mozzies were not the only insects around. A few butterfly species that overwinter as adults can be seen now; for instance peacocks, comma and brimstones. I tried very hard to photograph the beautiful yellow brimstones in flight, as they shot up and down the woodland rides. They are speedy little blighters! This was my best effort:
Brimstone in flight
Spring also gives rise to seaonal fungi that only appear now. This yellow one I think is Coprinus micaceus (the Glistening Ink cap) and was found in a woodland. It appears from spring to autumn: