The first signs of thaw are in the air today but snow is still on the ground everywhere. Yesterday was very bitter and yet another woodcock showed itself, this time by the side of the road at Valence. Several snipe are still in the shallows or on the river there and a flock of over 20 cormorants flew overhead in an easterly direction.
I've provided the 3 surviving male mallards at La Poterie's pond with some food and they are clinging on on a square metre of water which they have kept unfrozen. A rather desperate looking moorhen was wandering around in the partly re-built house. I hope he gets himself a share of the food.
At my brother's house at Laplaud (which is more like Lapland at he moment) a nuthatch and a great spotted woodpecker are regular visitors to the fat balls. I've had nothing more exotic than a cirl bunting at La Tache.