Though the weather was much brighter than predicted, it was cooler than earlier years and we even had some rain just on the last morning. (The forecast had been for heavy rain every day! Deo gratias.)

Total numbers of birds were down a little on the high of last year, but with some creative accounting (the odd domestic fowl!) we managed to hit the century mark. And each day brought its own delights - avocets and oystercatchers nesting (and squabbling!) at Leighton Moss, as well as garganey and marsh harriers, spectacular crowds of oystercatchers and eider at Walney Island, along with a peregrine sitting down for lunch among them, a visit to a local reserve where ospreys nest, with the local cuckoo as a soundtrack.

Simple Picture Slideshow:
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The wildflowers were particularly stunning this year, with acres of bluebells in the woods - and learning the names of several more was this year’s challenge for Sr Margaret. One of the main aims of the week - to encourage beginners to start identifying different songs and calls - was successfully achieved with a very keen bunch of participants.

We tested them on the last evening with the help of the RSPB’s chart-hitting single ‘Let Nature Sing’. A big thank you to Margaret P., our expert guide, who also presented an introduction to bird song on the first night. Sr Margaret offered a meditation ‘All you birds of the air, bless the Lord’, and we also watched a documentary on the intelligence of crows, and enjoyed a social evening of music and poems on the bird theme, much of it humorous.

Each year we become more aware of the preciousness of the created world that has been given to us, and entrusted to our stewardship. The first step to caring for it better is simply to notice that it is there.

Thanks be to God for springtime!