The first house martin has arrived, and is swooping about checking out all last year's nest sites. It may be finding some insects too, as it's been warm all day.
At Minsmere last week, we saw a swallow - it perched on a signpost conveniently close, so that a person more expert than us was able to tell us the differences between it and a swift, which wouldn't have perched anywhere anyway. The swallow had already built a nest, we were told.
And all week we were captivated by the actions of a blackbird family in the back yard of our holiday cottage; the nest was in a hydrangea petiolaris on the wall, and 3 fledglings were in different stages of learning. One was quite a bit behind the others, and spent most of its time lurking in dead leaves and other debris under the hydrangea and the neighbouring honeysuckle, emerging to shout loudly and open its still-yellow-lined mouth whenever Father Blackbird arrived with a beakful of worms. Luckily there was an area of well-tended allotments close by, which seemed to provide an ample supply of worms.
Oh, and in the woods here and there was a light wash of blue from the earliest bluebells.
Back at home, my Mother's Day lilies are flowering - huge pink blooms on the kitchen window-sill.