Wednesday April 8th 2020
Out for my almost daily exercise. Today I decided to walk down by the canal again. Recent sunshine has brought out the young bright green shoots on trees and bushes. Some of the willows have these as well as retaining many of their catkins.
Only two weeks ago the pussy willow had barely opened  their silky buds. Even so it was a surprise to see them, for last week hundreds were found trampled underfoot along the towpath.
Quite a number of these trees, on either side of the canal, are known to be over sixty years old. My husband can recall them from when he was a child - bird watching along these banks.

A magpie flies up, perching on a branch. Safe in the knowledge the ground beneath is so sodden from months of continuous rain, that nobody can get anywhere near him.
Although it is normally a damp area producing marsh loving plants, until the last few days it has resembled a pond. Even tree trunks were partially under water.
I walk a few hundred yards ahead, and a chiff chaff calls from high up. Despite being able to hear them is highly unusual to see one. Imagine my surprise to see this small bird sitting in a willow tree outlined against the pale azure sky. Had the season been more advanced, it wouldn't have been seen for leaves.
I just couldn't believe it was such a lucky day. Walking further along, what emerged out of the hedgerow but a reed bunting! Then his mate appeared too. Less easy to see as she doesn't possess the black head. Creeping slowly ahead, it was a pleasure to take a couple of quick shots before a cyclist appeared and off they flew to escape its wheels.