Early morning sunshine with lots of bird and beautiful views, who would believe that I am so near to so many urban conurbations? I adore Fairburn Ings and such a start bodes well for the rest of the day. In fact the weather looks too good, too sunny for migrants to drop in.
Sand martins do drop in at around 8.00am.
I cycle to the visitor's centre and am greeted by the staff. Photographs are required and so we all go into the kid's garden after a rather formal few are taken by the centre itself.
With the thought of the frog face RSPB advert in mind it is decided to do leap frogs. Great talent is displayed.
Onto the huge wooden dragonfly for more fun, my waterproof trousers don't allow me to slide down the tail and it is rather a painful journey down to the ovipositor.
I need willow tit for the year, as The Oracle constantly reminds me. My promise of 'I will get one within the hour' sent at 9.00am is broken but at 11.00am one comes onto a feeder and onto the list this scarce titmouse goes; bird number 191.
Willow tit secured, I leave the hide to explore the rest of the reserve and actually walk around 5 miles in order to cover every inch. I go first to the high ridge to the south and follow the path along the largest lake side, through the birch woodlands and visit all of the hides. Spring blossom is out, chiff chaffs are chiff chaffing and it is a beautiful day.
The walk back takes me to a new pathway that circumnavigates a few high rise, reed-fringed lakes. I sit on a path and think that a bittern booms, just a couple of booms and I wonder whether I have imagined it. I carry on along the path and do hear water rail and cetti's warbler.
Arriving back at the previous bench I hear what is definitely a bittern and again and again. Bittern bird number 192 onto the list.
On leaving Fairburn for the ride towards York I cycle along very quiet country lanes, thankfully and the first swallow of the year flies over a large ash tree, bird number 193.