May 18th-22nd, four nights in Southwold; weather more autumn than spring, November rather than May.
The 19th, a trip to Minsmere, despite the threat of rain; walking the Coast trail rewarded with swifts, warblers trilling, bitterns booming, terns carrying sand eels to their young and the tumbling aerial ballet of a corps of avocets.
Picnic lunch dodging the rain. Then onto the Island Mere trail, which merged into the Woodland trail and a clamber up into the canopy hide – bathed in birdsong. Discovery of the day, bitterns and avocets notwithstanding: once towering beech trees felled in the great storm of 1987 lying prone but regenerating – branches striking new roots and fresh trunks shooting up vertically from the old. The hopeful, restorative power of nature – an epiphany illuminated by a brief burst of sunshine.