Yesterday, as always, dawn broke to the accompaniment of our resident Robin broadcasting his presence to all and sundry. Already he has a wife and they have started house-hunting in the best looking spots in the garden – I fear they will do as they did last year and favour the neighbours Buddleia as the site for their nest while being content to gobble up every meal-worm I provide for their breakfast. Ungrateful little buggers.
This morning he was not alone in offering up his song to raise the spirits in the pre-dawn darkness; he had some stiff competition from something unseen at the bottom of the garden. I recognised the song but I couldn’t quite put a name to the singer who seemed out of place somehow on this chilly February morning – this was definitely a song of the summer. As the light improved I was surprised to see a pair of Blackcaps stabbing away at the crab-apples that stubbornly cling to the bare branches right through the winter. I wouldn’t normally expect to see them until late April.
In the afternoon, under a sparkling blue sky I watched a dull performance from Gloucester as they managed to kick away almost every chance that a tight fisted Tigers team offered them. I felt somewhat overdressed in an overcoat and scarf while many of my fellow spectators were in shirt-sleeves – brave indeed for early February.
Today I’m going to take the cane rod [now back from a short vacation in Michigan] over to Ozleworth Brook to test it’s capabilities in the tight, overgrown confines of this challenging little stretch. I don’t expect to see any prolific hatches of BWOs despite the warmth of the late winter sunshine; although, you never know, they may have got the same message as the birds and put in an early appearance – and winter might really be coming to an early end.