Once home from our New Year trip to Derbyshire it was time to top up the feeders at the winter feeding station. The wood is drying again now with the wood floor crisp with dead leaves and beech mast crunching underfoot. Snowdrops are poking through the leaf cover, although not as far advanced as the ones at Hartington where with flowers are just beginning to open up. I was surprised to see Lords-and-Ladies leaves emerged and well developed, bright fresh spring-like green against the browns of the winter wood. As I arrived a buzzard drifted overhead its plaintive, wild mewing carrying on the still air. The rooks were noisy in the south meadow where they are seeing to their nests already.
At the feeding station, the feeders were all empty. As soon as they were filled birds began to come down even while I was standing watching. Blue, great and coal tits buzzed to and fro in large numbers and a procession of nuthatches came down to pick up the peanuts I had dropped on the ground. These easy pickings disappear first. A lone robin hopped around the periphery, waiting for my departure before moving in for its share. No sign of the woodpecker, but I am sure it would be down as soon as the annoying human presence had disappeared.
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