BBTs, BGTs and the McGarrigle sisters

Bright April mornings are deceptive. In the Yarner Wood car park just before 09.00: the air was still, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and it seemed quite warm. We stopped to admire a pair of Mandarin ducks on the new pond and then walked on up the concrete path to the hide – and as we climbed the side of the valley realised that it was not quite as warm as we had thought (and as the temperature had only been 5° in the courtyard, perhaps we should not have been that surprised).

It took an hour (and a detour back to the car park to collect a hat) to warm up.

Yarner Wood is a magical place. We spent three hours walking the woods – from the car park up and across the heathland, before the long steady climb to the top of the wood, just below Trendlebere Down, and then down the other side of the valley. And as we walked and talked, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Ravens, squabbling Crows, Nuthatches, Chiffchaffs, Buzzards, BBTs (bloody Blue Tits), BGTs (likewise Great Tits), a female Kestrel stooping on smaller songbirds, and everywhere birdsong.

No Pied Flys yet – last year we saw them on 27 March; this year, despite last week’s warm weather, they are going to be a little later.

And the McGarrigle sisters? I had Walking Song in my head,

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk together/Baring our souls while wearing out the leather/We could talk shop/Harmonise a song/Wouldn’t it be nice to walk along.