I’m not usually so quick off the mark, but this morning when I pulled back the curtains and saw the happy combination of frost and sunshine, I leapt into some clothes and scuttled off outside with the macro. My best shots were all taken along the top of our old farm wall, where the glancing light produced some lovely glittery bokeh, and of those photos R and I have agreed that this is our favourite. Two hours later, as we made our way home from a walk around the parish boundary, the sky was heavily overcast, and by lunch time it was sleeting.

Over the course of the day we’ve enjoyed two video calls with Grandson One and his parents (though to be absolutely truthful he didn’t say very much), and I’ve also received a glowing report from our co-grandparents, who went to see him this afternoon. Everyone is well and happy, and for that we’re extremely grateful.

I spent the afternoon doing both physical and virtual tidying up, and as part of that I closed down my recording lists for last year, and started new ones for 2021. For the record, my sightings last year included:

106 birds (2019 total 149)
36 species of bee (26 in 2019)
38 hoverflies (22 in 2019)
27 butterflies (37 in 2019)
20 species of Odonata (versus 27 in 2019).

The reduction in numbers of birds, butterflies, and Odonata is directly attributable to pandemic restrictions, which made it difficult or impossible for me to move out of our immediate area, and thus to see species that don’t turn up in the Shire. What’s more interesting is the steep rise in my bee and hoverfly records: almost all of these were logged in the village, and most of them in our garden, which just goes to show that things can be right under your nose, and if you’ve got nothing better to do than search, you might just find them.

2021 birds:
1. Great spotted woodpecker
2. Jackdaw
3. Collared dove
4. Starling
5. Blue tit
6. Blackbird
7. Chaffinch
8. House sparrow
9. Blackcap
10. Great tit
11. Robin