I walked to Waterman's Cottage listening to warblers and black caps weaving tunes through the willow and the early morning pheasants' croaks. Also saw a sleepy brown hare. The dipper chivvied up the watercourse as I began scanning dead trees for the cuckoo but it wasn't there.
Disappointed to yet again not see the pied flycatchers despite waiting AGES. I tried all last summer, too, and I've still NEVER seen them!
Back to White Coppice then up and over the moors to have the meadow pipits lift my spirits. Heard the cuckoo’s lonely distant call (poem on the way). In Heather Lea, the pines creaked the pauses between chaffinch and nuthatch songs. On leaving I admired swallows skimming the moorland grass and I searched for the yaffling green pecker.
Then home - to cook peppered steak for bleary-eyed young men!Pied flycatcher image copied from www.rspb.org.uk
Moorland image by me.