How rubbish the last few days have been with the constant gusty winds, wind is the one element that I hate above all others.
Anyway, on the reserve this morning the wind wasn't as gusty, the sun was out and it was really pleasant and warm. The "S Bend Ditch" remains the best place to see any birds now as it continues to dry back. This morning there I had 8 Little Egret, 5 Herons, 7 Green Sandpiper and 20 Mallard.
After that I crossed over onto the adjacent farmland, as I do several times each week, because quite frankly, it has better wildlife than the reserve at the moment. On a good sunny day like today the tracks across it are hedged with all manner of wildflowers which attract countless butterflies, bees, etc and birds are everywhere. Look at the track below that I walked along, see how the various wildflowers have colonised it.
Bring it up closer and it compares with any garden border.
And then look at the butterflies that the flowers attract - a lovely Red Admiral.
A pristine looking Peacock.
Nearby were hedgerows and small thickets deliberately planted by the farmer and when farmland gets that good, well I think its well worth the price of some shooting during the winter months and anybody that can't agree that stand to deny themselves and wildlife a lot of pleasure. Get the balance right and there's room for everything - to everything's benefit.
That's not to say that the reserve was all doom and gloom, the water lilies in one ditch continue to expand each year.
White Melilot was in flower.
As was Great Willowherb.
And the much maligned Ragwort, so beloved by all manner of butterflies and other insects.
And on Shellness beach the Vipers Bugloss continues to expand and delight all manner of insects in such a barren place.
As did the Yellow-horned Poppy.