The not-so-merry month of May has crept in under the cover of clouds, rain and colder than normal temperatures, but with just the odd nice day to remind us all what it should be like. Not that I've been cowering indoors though.....
I've fitted in three visits to wetland areas to try to find some of the birds that flit through here every spring, on their way to their breeding grounds. And I've been for an eye check-up and had my second Covid-19 jab too. Here's a selection of pictures from a visit to Ouse Fen RSPB bird reserve, earlier this week.
This may look like a beautiful natural area, although it's really nothing of the kind. In fact there is no natural countryside in the whole of England; it's all been affected in some way by the hand of humankind. For the last few decades huge diggers and lorries have been extracting a million tons of sand and gravel every year - and they're still doing it now. They've made a lot of big holes!
But, as they finish with each area, they are returning it to nature. If you just left nature to get on with it you'd soon have an impenetrable tangle of scrub. A lot of money is spent ensuring that there is a mosaic of different habitats; at present there is a huge reedbed being encouraged. There's also a network of footpaths so we can enjoy the reserve, though, because this is still in part a working quarry, not all parts are accessible to the public.
But there's still plenty of scope for a day's wandering - in fact there are still some parts I've never seen!
One thing about this flat countryside is that you can see the weather coming from afar, not that you can always find somewhere to shelter from it. We got lucky and just caught the very edge of a couple of squalls.
Bluntisham church looked wonderful as ever when seen across Berry Fen. Had we gone further we might have seen it reflected by the flooded fields nearer to Earith.
That sea of white specks on the island is not litter but hundreds of Black-Headed Gulls that nest there, amid much cacophony, every spring. There are other birds out there too - I presume they must be deaf.
Since gulls prey on other birds eggs and nestlings it must be a dangerous place to nest too.
And those are not bits of black plastic up in the branches - those are Cormorants on their nests. I'll leave you to work out why the branches beneath are all white.
And we'll finish off with a wider view of the first photo I showed you.