The river near my house is not attractive at the moment. Its banks are muddy and strewn with countless plastic fertiliser sacks and other debris washed downstream in the floods which occur after every thaw. Ribbons of plastic hang like wind-blasted prayer flags from surprisingly high overhanging branches. However, it's convenient for a walk when I'm not inclined to think about where I'm going. I just wander along, and look for my favourites - dippers. I generally see goosanders, wagtails, herons, and buzzards too. None of these was visible today. I did however see and hear a pair of tree-creepers fairly close to, their creamy breast feathers gleaming in the sun as they climbed up and around an alder, which was delightful. Birds are starting to sing out a little more now, as the breeding season starts, and I saw two wrens, and a little robin in a blackthorn hedge. He turned his little head and scrutinised me with a beady little eye.
The place will come alive from next month with catkins, wild garlic, blackthorn, hawthorn, bluebells, cow parsley, comfrey, butterbur and later (and not so pleasingly) Himalayan Balsam. And of course, all the marvellous creatures that depend upon them.