As is the case every year, I had been dreaming of a white Christmas, not a mild and partially wet one.

Likewise, I had hoped to enjoy walking in a winter wonderland, not a winter wetland and I have never seen the Thames flowing so swiftly as at Kingston on Boxing Day morning.

Prolonged wet weather like we have experienced recently can cause any number of problems for wildlife especially hibernating insects including butterflies, moths, bees and wasps for insects spending the winter tucked up in sheltered niches may find dampness creeping in causing mildew, which can prove fatal.

Fish can suffer too when rivers overflow onto surrounding countryside for when the floods recede, fish may become isolated and trapped with no way back.

My two garden robins spent many nights singing in the rain. Unusually for birds, both male and female sing so the pair were clearly serenading one another at midnight.

In the late afternoon of the shortest day I heard my first songthrush delivering his full song, albeit briefly, and on Christmas day a mistlethrush, two magical moments especially as both species are becoming scarcer by the year.