Slatherings of Butter

That's my downfall.  It's not the Hot Cross Buns themselves, it's the slatherings of butter they simply cry out for.  Low fat, good for you, vege oil spread simply doesn't cut it.  It's got to be the proper stuff.  And then, just a couple of days later, it's chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  Mmmmm, who can resist?  Easter is just as bad for the waistline as Christmas - but on the plus side, the weather is generally nicer, so it's no problem taking the camera out for a leisurely stroll around Minsmere.  What weather!  The sun shone, the birds tweeted (that's the original meaning of the word, not the modern one!).  Bluetits are everywhere...

Especially in all the nest boxes around the reserve - one day, I must try & find out just how many there are scattered through the woods

I interrupt a Red Deer munching breakfast - they don't worry about us visitors as long as we stay on the path.  Go off-piste into their world and they soon disappear

I caught up with Mrs WJ - she'd found a gorse bush to photograph.  This is not some obscure and specialist Suffolk hobby, but a fascinating chance to spot all manner of insect life.  I'm not even sure what this one is - fly? Wasp? Bee?  It's so covered in pollen I can't tell!  It certainly didn't like it - the poor thing was trying to wash it all off

There were lots of different Hover flies

This one is a March Fly - though a little bit late obviously!

Ladybirds were there of course

And.... hang on, what's the rustling....  Ahhh of course!

One of those miniature dinosaurs again

Back near the Visitor Centre, Sand Martins are checking out their burrows (no worry about nets here!)

Whilst their friends whizz overhead like avian bullets

Newton was sitting in his normal spot near the pond, keeping a beady eye on the newts swimming about

But more interesting were the Tawny Mining bees excavating holes nearby - together with a new friend!

Yep, it's another of those Yellow Shouldered Nomad bees!  We've now had more sightings at Minsmere in the last two weeks than have been recorded across the whole county in the past 15 years I believe!

With knees aching from grovelling on the ground so much, we headed to the reedbed to see what was happening.  Mr Reed Bunting was showing nicely

But the star of the show had no contest.  I think I've mentioned before, Marsh Harriers are rarer in the UK than Golden Eagles, but you'd never think it, sitting in the hide on a sunny Bank Holiday


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