I seem to have been out and about most of the day. This morning I took the dogs down to the river for the first time since the floods. Most of the water has drained away, but the whole area has the very characteristic smell of wet mud. The Boardwalks nature reserve has bowl shaped topography, and I had to wade through up to 25cm of water in the lowest parts - luckily I'd thought ahead and was wearing my wellies. The main thing that has changed over the last week is the marked influx of reed warblers - I heard either five or six in the reed-bed - although they were all lurking near the base of the reeds and were completely invisible to me.
In the afternoon I led a guided walk round Bedford Purlieus. The weather was bright and breezy, which helped boost the turn-out to over 30 people - quite a surprising number for a rather specialist botanical walk. We saw a good range of the site's rarities - people even seemed impressed by the more modest species such as pill sedge, mountain melick and heath woodrush. Luckily another local botanist came along and helped out,, and he showed us toothwort and goldilocks buttercup on a site that I didn't know about. By the time we'd finished the three mile walk I was exhausted from having to concentrate so hard on spotting things while talking to so many people!
Unfortunately, I never get to take any photographs when I'm leading walks. On this occasion it was a pity, as we saw a female glow-worm devouring a slug, an episode that I'd loved to have captured. So today's picture is of an ordinary greenbottle fly, feeding harmlessly on the Alexanders flowers, taken rather quickly before I set off.