Great, a lovely day - warm, clear and sunny - and I'm stuck inside with 'man-flu' as the female part of the family disparagingly call it. Fortunately there are chocolates and pud left over from Christmas, as comfort.
All I can do is listen for the bicycle-pump call of a Coal Tit, which seems to circuit the area and call from various perches, taking out time to take peanuts on his way.
Otherwise the feeders are the preserve of Blue Tits (no Greats today, or Greenfinches - maybe the weather's too good), although King Pigeons are around as usual. A local subspecies, as in just another....
There is also time to browse the books that arrived at Christmas, including the massive and fascinating BTO Migration Atlas. Every page is packed with facts, statistics and tentative conclusions, greatly adding to my poor knowledge of UK species.
Taking a few pages at random (by the way, this may infringe copyright, but I hope it would be seen more as an advertisement)....
....the map above shows recoveries of Bramblings that had been ringed in Britain - no real surprises there. But look at this:
...Turnstones that populate the Kentish beaches (and promenades and piers) in autumn, winter and spring may be just stopping over on a long migration from Canada or Greenland to the coasts of Spain or Africa. Apparently they are faithful to their sites, so those that do stay around our coast are likely to be the same ones that were here in previous years (viz Stumpy on Deal Pier).
Finally, Purple Sandpipers - a combination of ringing recoveries and bill length has indicated that birds wintering on the north-eastern coasts of the UK are from Scandinavia [short bills], while most of those that winter on northern and western coasts (and bizarrely on Thanet) have longer bills, and are from Iceland and beyond, to Canada.
'Strordinary - it's amazing what you can learn by putting your feet up.