Early morning walk

I woke up at half eight the other morning, and thought, hey, a lie-in, great! So I got up, made a cup of tea, opened the chickens up, and woke my phone to have a look at the news – which was when I realised my waking vision had been rather blurrier than usual, because it wasn’t half eight, it was half six! But I was awake now, and it was a beautiful morning, what with the early morning sun trying to elbow its way through the mist that often covers our little valley. The dogs were looking very warily at me though, as if to say “no, it’s way too early for a walk!”, and while they would have come anyway, I thought I’d wander down the Riverside Walk alone, just me and the camera, without the dogs to scare the birds away. To be fair, they’re also quite useful at flushing them out, but just this once I went without them.

As you can see from the first picture, the woods alongside the river were still misty, and the birds were giving of their best in the trees…

The Chiffchaffs are still everywhere down there…

And all the usual suspects were singing away, including this tree-top Goldfinch.

The sun was bursting through now, but there was still a little mist on the river, from which this Mandarin Duck emerged.

There were a good few squirrels scampering around in the trees…

…but the most noise was coming from the reed bed at the end of the woods.

Numerous Willow Warblers were chasing each other around, but refusing to stay still long enough to be photographed, as were a pair of vivid yellow and green Wood Warblers. There was even the sound of a distant Grasshopper Warbler, something I’ve never seen, but despite its drill-like song, I couldn’t spot it among the increasingly leafy trees. Next time! There were a good few Blackcaps though, including this very obliging one…

And finally, at the end of the reed bed, there was the unmistakable shouty song of a Whitethroat, which eventually broke cover, albeit in the hazy distance…

The early morning is obviously the time to see the Riverside Walk at its best – I must misread the bedside clock more often!

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