A chorus of warbler-song this morning turned an intended quick stroll along the cliff-top into a longer walk around the patch, as it was clear that there had been an overnight arrival. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs called across Otty Bottom valley, and a tack - tack from deep in a thicket indicated an early Whitethroat. It's easy to identify Whitethroats - if you can see it, it's a Common one, and if you can't it's a Lesser version. Probably. As the track starts to rise up to Barrow Mount, the tree cover gives way to low hedges and fences, which should be a good habitat for Corn Buntings and Yellowhammers. The latter are seen here most years, but I can't recall seeing the former here before, so this one was welcome. It wasn't singing, so may have been a female. The problem with the winter arrival of Northern Long-tailed Tits is that you feel duty-bound to check each LTT just in case - knowing that you won't be lucky. A Goldcrest was seen foraging along the way, dropping down into the leaf litter, perhaps searching for nesting material. Except when I developed my sketchy photos, it turned out to be a Firecrest. Mental note - look with care first, then reach for the camera if you must! A quicker shot would have been useful as I reached Hope Point, however, as a Weasel skittered into a rabbithole, then turned back to check me out. This is the first I've seen in the area. Soon after, my first Black Redstart of the year was seen feeding from a compost heap in a garden - novel. There has been a reassuring number of sightings reported this year of Small Tortoiseshells and I was pleased to see (a tatty) one myself, as well as a fresh Comma. Bees were everywhere, and two unusual ones hugged Dandelion flowers when the sun faded and the cool wind chilled the clifftop. And finally, the obligatory close-ups of flowers (as an aide-memoire if for no other reason).... Sun Spurge
..... and it's clearly the start of the punting season..... Pimms anyone?