Long-tailed tits call to each other as they flit through the trees. A woodpecker drums on a hollow trunk. All through the wood chiff chaff proclaim territories and seek mates. Sunlight pours down to the herb layer lush with new growth after days of rain. The wood resounds with flowing water, waterfall, beck and adventitious water-tracks here today and gone tomorrow. Not tomorrow, more rain is forecast. So we seize the day, a day all the more wonderful because March has been wet and dreary.
Hurrah for snow. There's nothing to compare with fresh snowfall on a bright day somewhere between winter and spring. Last night, there was a blustery wind and we awoke to snowfall. Up on Scout Scar I could see how the wind had scoured the snow, rippling over it and creating shallow drifts. These days, it's rare to see snow on Scout Scar escarpment. Two days ago there was a trace of snow on the very tops of distant fells and the woods below the escarpment showed in warm and muted colour.
Twice-spooked, the flock of Black-tailed godwit rose into the air and came down closer and closer to the sea-hide. But now cloud had masked the sun and colour drained away.
The wood to the north is a dark reflection in the water with birds flood-lit and the sun highlighting the brick-red head and chest of those in breeding plumage. A shimmer of upside-down reflections surrounds the birds.
The musical call of redshank, sentinel of the marshes, rings out. They scurry through shallow water in search of food. A pair mates in a flurry of wings close to the hide. A blue sky and white cumulus is mirrored in the water and the distant wood is a pool of darkness. A dense flock of Black-tailed godwit roosts in a shadowy surround. Beyond, a scatter of Black-headed gull gleams white.
All seems tranquil and still but the light changes with the interplay of sunlight and cloud and there's a choreography amongst the birds, both subtle and dynamic.