Spring song

The day started grey and gloomy, but by lunchtime the sun had appeared and once again it felt mild and spring-like. I made the most of Alex's illness and the gloomy weather, and stayed in bed until after eight!

The main problem with the milder weather is the mud, which makes my regular walk far more treacherous than during frozen conditions. But it was still good to get out - blue tits were singing, the mallards have paired up and this little robin was singing his heart out in the top of a tree, definitely marking out his breeding territory! I love the little ruffle of feathers at his throat - those vocal chords were certainly working overtime!

I was also lucky to have a distant view of a dog fox. I knew foxes were around from the rank odour hanging among the bushes. He must have been sunning himself on a sheltered bank , and stayed absolutely still when he realised I'd spotted him, staring back at me. The dogs were very well behaved and stayed with me, but he made his escape as I was attempting to put the telephoto lens on - the moment I stopped staring at him he scarpered, never to be seen again!

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