Whilst I'm sure many people would suggest we are "through the worst" of the winter that view, I suspect, is a reaction to lengthening days and the extremes of weather not being as severe. I further suspect wildlife might have a different view!. With temperatures still plummeting at night, daytime not much better and with a presumed ever diminishing supply of food, conditions continue to be very challenging indeed. I got the distinct impression today that local birds were "feeling it". Their behaviour at the garden feeders was noticeably more frantic, with no time being wasted and territorial behaviour being largely set aside. The Brambling appeared yet again for a period with some Chaffinches, all of whom must have another feeding site they rely on.
At various intervals this winter I've been surprised at the number of Song Thrushes which have been present. A party of eight (8) this morning contained a couple of darker and duller brown/grey birds that , presumably, were residents from farther north ( hebridensis ). They never visit for food but remain out in the juncus ridden pasture nearby.
By contrast the brighter parts of the day saw much increased activity by local Ravens with some fine periods of "parallel flying" which would have been the envy of any RAF air display team! In an otherwise quiet and cold landscape their "kruk, kruk" calls carried distinctively, a reminder perhaps that spring is just around the corner but needs to flex its muscles a little!!!.