The smaller , lighter coloured male was there to fertilise the string of spawn , secreted by the female , and all the unattached males were there to try and jostle him off the female , and take the place themselves , hence the amount of movement in the shallow water . The more I looked , the more strings of spawn I could see . Just one Peacock and a first of the year Green Veined White , were the only butterflies recorded on site .
In the same area , there was movement in the water and 'croaking' noises . It turned out to be a group of Common Toads intent on making sure of the next generation . As far as I could see , there were only 4/6 females , but about 10/15 males were in the area . Every female I saw had an attendant male on her back .
It seemed to be the same today , but slowly , like the sunshine , it got better . On the lake were 2 Canada Geese , 2 Coot with 4 young ( could only get 3 of the young in the shot , sorry to rub it in Warren) , a pair of Little Grebe , a pair of Moorhen and a fly over of 4 Mallard . Walking round , with just the occassional passing car , it was once again , like paradise . The list of birds seen/heard grew and grew . 5 Green Woodpecker , Mistle Thrush , 3 Skylark , 3 Magpie , 2 Carrion Crow , 3 Robin , 2 Chaffinch ,Nuthatch , 5 Pheasant ,2 Jackdaw , 2 Long Tailed Tit , 3 Goldfinch , 2 Great Tit , Jay , Wren , Blackbird , and of course 2 Rose Ringed Parakeets , and I had just missed a Common Buzzard before I arrived .
Around the lake , the Coltsfoot is in that in between stage . Some of the flowers are still in full bloom , whilst others have gone to seed , and are making their pappus seed heads . As they come to the end of their time , Cowslips are beginning theirs , with large swathes of yellow covering the banks . In one bay , the first flowers are showing on the Bog Bean-Menyanthes trifoliata .
On the way home , I stopped off at the Common for a look around , in now quite respectable sunshine . On the heathland area I found my first day flying moth of the year , a Common Heath , this one a male with the feathery antennae . I'm glad to say that the Long Tailed Tit nest is still intact , but the problem time comes when constant arriving and departing with food for the nestlings , draws attention to it's position . Heard/seen on the Common were at least two singing Blackcaps and 3 singing Chiffchaffs . Butterfly sightings were , 4 Peacock , 6 Brimstones ( including 1 egg laying female ) and one male Orange Tip .
When I got home , sitting in the garden with a cup of tea , a male Orange Tip made three passes through the garden , but did not stop for a photo .