The towpath was wonderful in the sunshine, and mostly sheltered from the chilly breeze. The temperature reached 8°C! A dizzying heatwave! Plants in flower in the sunshine included: Common Whitlowgrass, Shepherd's-purse, Hairy Bittercress, Common Field-speedwell, White Comfrey, Chickweed, one patch of Primrose with about 10 flowers open, 2 Dandelion, several flowers of Creeping Buttercup (yes, I know it is not allowed to flower yet!), several Alder with catkins all dropping pollen, several Goat Willow showing their silvery catkins just emerging from bud, Cherry Plum in full white blossom, and there were others but this is as many as I can remember. Other plants that were leaping into life but with no flowers today included: White Deadnettle, Red Deadnettle, Alexanders, Cow Parsley, Herb-Robert and more. The leaves of Alexanders and the flowers of the Creeping Buttercups glowed brilliantly in the bright sunshine.
Nearby in bare trees were chattering groups of House Sparrows and a group of Starlings. In addition, there were loads of water birds on the Canal and plenty of folk with stale bread feeding it to the birds. These water birds (Coot, Moorhen, Canada Geese, assorted Gulls, Mallard, a Swan or four) seem to survive entirely on bread, and white bread at that.
We made a short diversion into Victoria Park, where there is a lake full of more water birds fed on white bread, and two geese we did not recognise. On looking in our bird book at home, they were clearly Egyptian Geese, so presumably imported deliberately, as opposed to the other alien geese that had arrived unintentionally.
And to cap it all, the towpath was busy with many people enjoying the sunshine, some running, some on bicycles, many just walking or strolling along, but a constant stream out enjoying the spring air. After a long and rather cold winter, this was just the tonic we all needed!