Cold snaps like the current are very hard on wild creatures, making it a real challenge to find food, water and shelter. This is why species turn up in our gardens that we would not normally see. A typical example for me is Yellowhammer, a shy bird of farmland hedgerows: I have had two feeding just outside the back door.
More rare visitors to my garden turned up this afternoon on the seed feeders: two Tree Sparrows. In the sharp winter sunshine, they looked smarter than ever. Makes you feel sorry for House Sparrows, who are dowdy in comparison.
Oddest of all was a report from my friend Julie that she had a Lapwing feeding on her back lawn this morning. True she lives in a fen village, but all the same it's the first time I have heard of a Lapwing becoming so confiding. Must be hungry.