At last there's just the beginnings of spring here. For the first time today there's a chaffinch singing in the garden and the snowdrops in the hedge are in bloom.
It has been a strange, bird-less winter in our garden. I reckon we've only had a frost three or four times and I've given up feeding the birds because the uneaten dregs were sitting around for days.
I suppose the winter has been windy and rainy, but fairly mild. Our birds have been able to find the energy they need without coming to my garden feeders.
My gauge of bird hungriness over the last couple of years has been the firethorn that I put in when our neighbour had her new fence built. It's close to one of our windows and just a couple of steps from their backdoor.
That's too close to us humans for comfort for most birds. They only come for the berries when they get really hungry, which has been around Christmas. Last year a couple of blackbirds stripped all the berries over a couple of icy days.
But this year we're all the way to late February and the lion's share of the berries are still in place. Seems a waste; I'm thinking I should do something with them - firethorn gin, maybe?