Feeding the birds religiously in the garden now since end of October. Slowly my early morning first footers have increased in size and variety as word has spread through the sky pinned. I even have three large corbies (a murder of crows who sinisterly dog my footsteps afield cawing short insults with each wing flap), an unkindness of blackbirds, one with an interesting 'necklace' of white feathers around its neck, a tribe of sparrows, a charm of chaffinches, a wobble of blue & great tits, a vein of goldfinches, a lonely, blushing robin, and others I cannot recognise but all are welcomed and worshipped as miracles of winter bound survival. The fields are bare, the ground hard, the waters icy, the frost biting, so it is imperative to keep the feeders full of the life sustaining sustenance. I sacrifice sunflower hearts pre bought online. This is best for all sizes and rich in warmth giving proteins which the murmurations need to see each grey winter dawn. Also any left over brown bread can be crumbed, ground & fried in any oil and spread in a scattering of 'the good seed on the ground'. A bowl of water with a ping pong ball floating. The movement of the ball stops the water from freezing, mostly. I also hang fatballs among the pleading arms of the stricken treees for the more acrobatic birds. The cats, the gods of garden death are out all night and as soon as it is light the two felines cat door is locked. They sleep afurred all day on the beds during the light and only stir and their door of Hades unlocked only after it is dark and all the winged wonders have departed (whistling in the creeping gloaming to the god of death a defiant 'Not today') to huddle togther in their roosts for another freezing night. Damn. these little birds are tough! It gets light around 8 a.m & dark here now about 4 pm ish. On the shortest day (22 Dec) it was only light from around 9 until 3 p.m. so things are slowly getting warmer but bitterly cold today with strong winds adding to chill factor. Must go to silently adore my birds who thank me in the song of the ages of the seasons heard by the mammoth followers to the twichers of today and remember me with every little plant eating bug & snail they devour in my honour in summer's glory.