I lay in bed yesterday morning, listening to a curlew calling from the field in front of our house.
It was calling again this morning as I went to open the gate in the unforecasted snow. So I sneaked round to have a peek. It turned out not to be a curlew at all, but a starling in our cherry tree doing a very passable impersonation (imbirdation?) of a curlew. They are impressive mimics.
Then, as I went to open the garage door, I heard my first lapwing of the year calling from somewhere in the fields behind the house.
Well, I say it was a lapwing, but, for all I know, it was another starling.
Postscript (2 hours later): I've just seen it. Definitely a lapwing. It's great to have them back! Now, if it would only stop snowing, it might begin to feel a bit more like Spring.
Jen and I went for a walk around the lanes this afternoon, and I finally saw some fieldfares. I was beginning to think I might go an entire winter without seeing any! They had congregated in some silver birch with some redwings and starlings:
I don't know why, but I'm quite pleased with this minimalist second shot:
A day out to Blackpool on Thursday (Jen's birthday). The weather was atrocious: incessant driving rain. We took flasks of tea, bought chips at Harry Ramsden's, and ate them in the car looking out to sea. There was nothing to see, apart from some very miserable-looking gulls and starlings. But it was a day out.
As we rounded the last bend up the hill towards home, a weasel scuttled across the road in front of us and disappeared into the grassy bank. Not as good as a badger, but pretty nice to see.
From now on, I shall refer to that corner as Weasel Corner.