With no cars on the roads, I’ve decided to switch off my ‘phone’s birdsong alarm as I’ve found that the real thing has become loud enough to wake me at dawn each morning, while the humming of bees has been helping to set my little grey cells working as the insects busy themselves in the eaves above my window.

Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies have taken to dancing in pairs through the empty streets and hover flies have joined them, hovering for minutes at a time, untroubled by the sudden side drafts that would usually lash them away as the city’s traffic passes by.

Slightly further afield, while out running the other evening through the little nature reserve that lies a short distance from my home, a young muntjac bounced out of the undergrowth to my right and scampered across my path and into the copse to my left, putting up a swan at the same time, which honked in warning as it presumably left its mate nesting on the river ahead of us.

My most magical moment to date, however, came early on Easter Saturday morning, while I was spelling out my name with a dastardly series of exercises composed by my local BMF fitness instructor. As I counted out the burpees, press-ups, jump squats and mountain climbers, a sound of rapid hammering rose up from the copse nearby. It was a woodpecker drumming out its call, too fast for me to keep time to but a thrilling noise  that I’ve not heard for quite some time.

We still have a couple of months to go before the start of this year’s 30 Days Wild but if the lockdown continues for a while yet, who knows what we might see and hear by then!


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