Early signs of spring, 27 March 2021

Determined to get some serious walking mileage under our belts we ventured once again to our nearest stretch of coast. Parking along the lane to Westwood Lodge on the edge of Walberswick I was just getting out of the car when a Woodlark serenaded us - a nice start! Our circular walk initially took us down through Hoist Covert and down onto the beach via Dingle Marshes. It was very obvious that Chiffchaffs have now arrived en-masse with singers everywhere. Apart from that there was very little else to make it seem like spring.

Or walk continued over Dingle Hill and eventually down into Dunwich village, west along Sandy Lane before heading north through Dunwich Forest and Newdelight Covert and back via Westwood Lodge. The Daffodils at Dingle Hill were an amazing spectacle, a patch of Small Nettle less so (but they sting like a bitch so probably don't care!) In Dunwich Forest I located 3 singing Firecrests in an area I've had them before. One showed extremely well making me wish I had my camera with me! A little further on, inspection of a noisy flock of Siskins in birches revealed c15 Lesser Redpolls with them. Near Westwood Lodge the fields on both sides of the track held a total of 8 'tenebrosis' Pheasants (those that look like Green Pheasants apart from the lack of a pale grey rump).

A small detour on the way home took us to Hen Reedbeds for a quick coffee break. Here I walked a short way along the path by Wolsey Creek and found the Taiga Bean Goose in a distant field with Greylags. Then I noticed a chattering above my head and c30 Sand Martins were watched well hawking over the reeds - always a fantastic site to herald spring and ealier than I see them most years. Back near the car careful litfing of the corrugated iron sheets revealed 2 Grass Snakes, one of which was very inquisitive and showed very nicely, often coming very close to check us out!

                                                                                                                             'tenebrosis' Pheasant
                                                                                                                                           Grass Snake
                                                                                                                           how many Daffodils?!
                                                                                                                                         Small Nettle

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