After all the reports of late departures and early returns, it seems that normal service is resuming with hundreds of cranes moving north as they traditionally do in late February. Several skeins went over the house today, some consisting of 300-400 birds and it all seemed very appropriate as the weather was mild and springlike though overcast.
In a previous post about 'recent sightings of note' I forgot to mention that I watched a little owl peering from a window ledge at Saint Colombe. This species is not uncommon in these parts but like all owls, except perhaps barn, it is more often heard than seen. Another bird which I think went unreported was a surprisingly early corn bunting which was singing near Artenac. Today's singers were mainly song thrushes, robins and blackbirds, and the most vivid sightings were a male hen harrier near Saint Amant de Bonnieure and the firecrest in the garden once again.