For the past two weeks I’ve been hearing more and more birdsong. The bullfinch is singing his characteristic snowmelt ditty, and the woodpecker is making territorial drumrolls. Some other species of small bird is having these noisy cocktail parties where they fill a tree and chatter for hours. But the winter is far from over yet. We have lots of snow and it was -9ºC this morning. It must be the lengthening daylight that triggers those bird brains. And today two magpies have started fussing absentmindedly about the big nest outside our bathroom window.