At 3.37am this morning, as I made my customary mid-nightly trip to the bathroom, I could hear a blackbird singing in the garden, even though dawn was barely visible. Don’t birds lead an extraordinary life?

They go from 18 hour days in summer when it is warm (?!) to 18 hour nights in winter when they really need all the daylight they can get for catching food to keep their strength up. Yet they just get on with it, whatever the weather, however short the day, and still manage to find time to sing their hearts out. Perhaps we could learn a lesson or two from them.

A couple of mornings ago I came downstairs to find a starling in the kitchen, fluttering around in the window. How, you might ask, did a full grown starling get into the kitchen overnight when all doors and windows had been locked?

Remember the burst pipe of 11.02.12? Well, I’m still waiting for Peter to fix the hole in the ceiling. I gave up on the insurance paying out months ago. To be fair he has tidied the hole up, so now at least it’s a neat, square hole, but a hole nevertheless, and that’s how I think the starling got it.

Judging by the trail of starling poo, he did a tour of the hall before settling in the kitchen window. I let him out without too much fuss and then spent the next half hour cleaning up.

Yesterday I saw a lovely fat bullfinch in the garden. He didn’t stay long, but what a handsome fellow he was.

Equally handsome, and extremely cheeky, is a robin who I swear lies in wait for me. Every time I set foot outside he appears asking to be fed. Of course I oblige, in fact if he thinks I’m taking too long he pops into the doorway of the boiler house to get me.

Birds, don’t you just love ’em.