Yesterday and the first half of today were taken up by matters relating to birds, but more involved with discussion and written plans than actual direct observation. Such is the demand price of conservation!!
Following that things eased off a little such that I grabbed a few reflective moments to stare out of the window. And guess what, in full view was a female Ring Ousel, (2013,180 ) probably the most unlikely candidate one could imagine as a "garden tick".
Unfortunately a telephone call intervened, and whilst the bird was still there on my return , it suddenly flicked away and was gone. A great bird and a nice surprise.
Later, returning from the village a Chiffchaff flicked in similar fashion along the road and perched up on the edge of a ditch. Another bit of evidence that , whilst slow, spring passage is happening. In reality it's probably not all that behind its normal sequence, but each year people appear to have expectations to the contrary, fuelled by commentary about climate change, and disregarding absolutely the more direct influence that weather systems affecting areas further south and North Africa can bring to bear.