Another early start, making my annual visit to the pasqueflowers at Barnack Hills and Holes NNR. When I arrived most of them were still closed, their furry petals and leaves beaded with dew, but by the time I left they had opened fully in the warm spring sunshine. There were also early purple orchids to admire, though this year they seem particularly small, perhaps a result of the dry weather last year.
I then continued to Castor Hanglands, walking a different route from normal and being delighted by sheets of wood anemone near an old quarry, and carpets of bluebells in an undisturbed area of woodland. The scrubby areas were filled with warblers, including the first whitethroats I've seen this year. But my ornithological highlight was a very well-behaved corn bunting sitting in low scrub in open grassland (see extra). This declining farmland bird is more usually seen on telegraph wires in the fens, and this is the first time I've seen one at the Hanglands.
I arrived home just in time for Sarah and Ben to produce a delicious brunch of American pancakes with bacon and avocado, eaten outside on the patio. Though we haven't gone away, I've really felt in a holiday mood this weekend!