The first week in November has come and gone, and still the garden birds have not appeared in great numbers.

There has been the occasional coming and going on the bird feeder, but not the frenzy of previous years. The blackbirds who normally feed on the windfall apples are nowhere to be seen.

There has been a male pheasant, with  short tail feathers, who has made the odd visit but really nothing of note. I saw him the other day on the roof of the conservatory shouting up at the bedroom window.

According to the RSPB this lack of garden bird activity is countrywide, and due to the unusually mild weather. Wild birds prefer wild food for as long as it is available and will only resort to the garden bird-feeder when their natural cuisine runs out in the cold weather.

I have to say it has been remarkably mild. Usually my gunnera is covered up permanently by this time following several severe frosts. This year I’ve just covered it up for one night so far.

As I write this the sky is blue and the sun is streaming through the window. Hard to believe in 5 weeks it will be Xmas Eve!

Best not get too cocky though. Things were going OK last year until the 26th November. Then it all started to go wrong and we were snowed in for 2 weeks.

The only true constant is my little robin friend who comes every day, without fail, just as the last bit of daylight slips from the sky, to take his daily bath in the bird bath outside the kitchen window. As long as he keeps coming all is well.