In retrospect 2017 was both a good and bad year in a personal sense. A great trip out to Morocco in Spring, various trips around the UK and periods spent at Spurn contrasted against a couple of near disastrous family experiences that were far less enjoyable . Thankfully, all is now improved and, hopefully, 2018 promises to be a more consistently productive and happy year ( once I've got my Speed Awareness Course out of the way on the 23rd January ! ).
So, what of the onset of 2018 ? I'm up near Inverness, Scotland in what has been cold and icy weather so far, but is gradually set to improve. Walks out during the day ( with the dogs ) has produced little within the nearby coniferous woodlands or adjacent agricultural areas with far more activity in the garden around the feeders. Best of the bunch has been Long-tailed Tits, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Tree Sparrow, Treecreeper and odd Greenfinch with occasional Red Kite and Common Buzzard overhead.
The star performance was from a Long-tailed Field Mouse. This individual repeatedly appeared out of its "hidey hole" , ran down to a group of House Sparrows gathered around some food I'd scattered under the bushes, retrieved a supply and sped off !! Except it did it several times leaving the sparrows literally bewildered. What the hell was that ? There was no reaction whatsoever ! Animal theatre at its best.
With daughters accounted for after the Hogmanay celebrations the next day or so proved to be a football filled, crisis-free series of days. A good start !