No white Christmas, just a mild windy wet one!

Thankfully the shortest day is behind us and increasing daylight hours are a key stimulus, crucial to the gradual reawakening of spring rather than temperature fluctuations.

Although the worst of winter can throw at us is no doubt still ahead, there are increasing signs of spring

My local blackbird and songthrush sing most mornings at first light heralding the as yet faint beginnings of a dawn chorus and robins sing lustily throughout the day and night.

A few black headed gulls (pictured) are already sporting their black (in reality dark brown) heads; snowdrops, once called snow piercers, are opening; yellow forsythia  flowers are evident, and spring bulbs are peeping above the soil, those not already dug up by squirrels that is.

Bumblebees home in on mahonia flowers and in the mild few days over Christmas frogs in my garden pond stirred.

Even leaf buds on some trees are at bursting point.

So, Roll on spring!