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R had an appointment to see the luthier this morning, so we headed into Stratford early, and while he skipped off to talk guitars, I wandered through the park on the south side of the Avon, looking for birds. I found quite a few, as you can see here, but this was my happiest capture.

I was kneeling down, following a redwing with the lens as it hopped along beside the path, and as it disappeared behind this tree and I lowered the camera and stood up, I caught sight of the treecreeper. They’re very active, and very quick, and if slightly alarmed they simply run around to the other side of the tree trunk – which is what this one did; so I retreated a few yards and circled round after it, and every time I caught up, snapped a few frames. This isn’t pin-sharp, but it’s not bad, and was the best one I managed before a stupid jogger came hoofing along the path and put the bird to flight.

This afternoon I went owling, but sadly the owls didn’t go peopling – at least not during the time I was there. I stuck it out for as long as I dared, having heard from two different people that my fantasy yesterday of the owls coming out 5 minutes after most of the owlers left came literally true (me away at 4.45pm; seven owls flying around the field from 4.50); but in the end I lost my nerve and quit, descending the escarpment in a white-out, with the MX-5 being blown almost off its wheels, and skating slightly on the surface of the loose-lying snow. By the time I made it home I was zorsted, and needed hot soup and chocolate to make me all better again.

Tomorrow I will (almost certainly) be heeding the weather warnings, and staying at home. If we’re going to keep getting winters like this, I’m going to need a heavier car.