Admittedly, at 22C degrees indoors and just 18C outdoors, the heatwave seems to be more applicable to southern England than to northern Wales! But here too, it is glorious summer weather at the moment. I've got a day off today, (which I've devoted to writing but more of that later) after working over the weekend at RSPB Ynys Hir near Machynlleth. It's been heavenly on the reserve during this lovely season, when birds are singing and nesting, bees are buzzing and butterflies fluttering, and a carpet of wildflowers is covering the woodlands.
As per every spring, a pair of Oystercatchers are nesting on a wall outside one of the estuary hides. They've bred there for the last five years and, despite their choice of site being completely exposed, have raised their young successfully nearly every time. Currently, they are sitting on three eggs, the male and the female both taking turns to do the sitting. Osytercatcher eggs are large so the incubation period is long, around 26 days, and the young are dependent on their parents for food for at least six weeks after fledging, sometimes not being fully independent until they are six months old.
One of the other May highlights at Ynys Hir are the bluebells that appear in abundance in late spring. Talking a walk around the reserve is not just a feast for the eyes; the heady scent of these lovely native flowers is overwhelming in places, and the vibrant blue colour scheme is interspersed here and there with sorrel and wood anemone, two other native flowers that are found in ancient oak woodlands. So if you fancy a spring walk full of the delights of nature, or would like to take advantage of some of the reserve's upcoming events, do pop onto the website :
And what of writing? I've been determined to finish a book this year and this morning, I wrote those magic words - The End - on my manuscript and it sent off to the RNA's New Writers' Scheme . But there's no resting on my laurels - the annual conference is coming up in July, so I'll be starting on a chapter for the industry appointments very soon. And, of course, mulling over my next book . . .
But, for today at least, I think I'll take a few hours out and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! How are you spending this balmy May Bank Holiday Monday?