The woods are rarely silent! At times there is the background roar of the wind as it buffets the tree-tops, sheltering us down below from the worst of the elements. As the inclement weather passes the birdsong re-ignites as the male great tits and blue tits compete to be the most noticeable by potential mates. Their songs remind us that spring is around the corner. If this year follows the pattern of all the other preceding years, they will soon be joined by the multiple calls of the summer migrants. As these arrive they fill the air with fancy warbles and trills which our native birds tend not bother with. I look forward to the symphony of bird music but there is some uncertainty and competitiveness- who will hear the first chiff-chaff? Will it be in early/mid or late March? Might it sing a different tune? – (unlikely after all these years!) Will there be a significant delay before the willow warblers are heard too? The anticipation adds to the pleasure! As they arrive we will say “goodbye” to the few winter visitors we have had to stay. Some years we have enjoyed hundreds if not thousands of siskin and redpolls but this winter they have hardly been seen. But right now it is not too late to check the woods to see if any are passing through. I need to grab my hat and coat in order to take the dog out to see for myself. She is always ready for a walk so she is prepared to go- look! …..she has her coat on already!