Spring has finally sprung down on the Fen. As if someone has flicked a switch, the reedbed is full of birds singing. A Chiffchaff calls from the hedge, a tumble of notes come from an unseen Willow warbler, and the Reed buntings chirp out their simple song from the still frosty reeds.

Reed bunting, Emberiza schoeniclus, male singing in reedbed, Norfolk, April

I suddenly hear a snatch of sound, a scratchy buzz then a trill, daring not to believe my ears I follow the path towards it, the noise gets louder and I spot the singer, coloured like the reeds with a dashing cream stripe above his eye – my first Sedge warbler of the year! He’s singing the summer in, a jumble of trills, fluid warbles, whistles and a scratchy jazz rhythm. I close my eyes to enjoy the show, and I can hear more singing throughout the reedbed. A tiny Wren shouts his massive song from a nearby bramble bush waking me from a daydream of hot summer days. Distantly a Cuckoo calls.

I walk onwards and spot a mouse like movement in the path-side plants. I watch and wait, and the creature pops out onto the edge of the path, a Whitethroat, too busy searching for food to sing, investigating the tangle of stems hoping for a meal.

Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, perched on dry stem, Norfolk, April

On my way home the single Swallow I saw last week has turned into two, they chase each other at top speed as I go by. One Swallow doesn’t make a summer, but maybe two do?!

 

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