On the South Pond at Oxwich little grebes seem to have quartered the lake into territories, their constant bubbling a feature that will last well into the autumn. Necks in unison, the resident pair of mute swans performs a silent, graceful ballet, in contrast to the raucous sounds from a pair of shelducks. Quiet mallards, teal and shovelers travel about in pairs too, their courting much more discrete.
There’s a sense of changeover in the marsh, an overall mood of preparation for the new season. Overhead, a carrion crow carries lichen to an almost finished nest high up in an alder, and the song of resident birds increases now at every visit. Cetti’s warblers sing all year round, but there seem to be more now, their explosive song echoing over the marsh. I hear woodpeckers drumming in Abraham’s Wood, and a melancholic mistle thrush has a territory somewhere near the village.
It’s not just birds that herald a changeover of seasons, many flowers are already out, and the green shoots of yellow iris and reeds show above the water line in the still golden-coloured marsh. Woodland trees are decorated with buds waiting to burst, with willows, alders and hazels showing off their catkins. Blue tits, their heads dusted yellow from the catkins, feeds avidly as they move along the Garden Lane dragging with them a goldcrest and a tree creeper. This could be the last winter flock I see till autumn, as everything changes into breeding mode very soon.