Our children missed the boat for Dawn Chorus Day but decided to make up for it this morning by rising extra early, so with everyone breakfasted we headed straight out in the hazy sunshine after dropping the eldest at school. Still a little cool I opted for the shelter of woodland and headed back to the Wood Warbler site from last week. It was still singing, though I never saw it today as the kids would have no doubt disturbed everything including it had we gone into the woodland. Instead we stayed on the track, ate chocolate at the river and they took great pleasure in sticks, stones and Shetland ponies. A pair of Blackcap entertained me from a Horse Chestnut, a Chiffchaff moving through nearby, Pied Wagtail on the river where I expected Grey and a Grey Heron stood warily upriver eyeing the kids as they splashed. Nuthatch occasionally moved above us noisily and a Stoat took a sneaky glance from the cover of a nearby wall.
Orange-tip was the most numerous species on the wing, though we had Small White and a tatty looking Peacock too.
The woodland flowers continue to provide superb colour, new for today was Common Dog Violet and Water Avens.
We crossed a small stream and headed up the wooded hill into open oak lined pasture where a single singing male Redstart remained steadfastdly camera-shy for the best part of thirty minutes, though perhaps in hindsight, having two kids playing 'Cyberman' rolling around a few yards away isn't the best photographic conditions.