Just to show how sad I really am, I’m uploading photos of two of my friends. I really mean it, too! I spend hours talking to them and putting out food for them, but am rewarded when, like here, they come to our feet for food. I have to be honest and say that it only usually happens at breeding time – after that they start to lose feathers and become very timid because they aren’t as confident of their aerobatic skills. The downside is that I sometimes get up to a death bed of feathers in the garden. The sparrowhawks are rampant around here because they know they have easy targets. I’ve found two blackbird graves in the last two weeks and I cry when I do. I need to get a photo of my favourite bird, Scruff. We nicknamed him that when he turned up at the front of the house one day, looking absolutely battered and with one leg which wouldn’t bend. We spent the next couple of months feeding him at the front – he’d wait for us to come home and then come down as soon as we put food out, knowing that the other birds would leave him alone if he came while we were there. Then he started taking sultanas off with him and we knew he had babies. He brought them to meet us when they fledged – it was lovely. When I saw the first blackbird grave, I seriously feared for him because of his leg, but he comes every couple of days and the day before yesterday, he actually came down while I was there, much to my delight. They’ll become less timid as it gets colder and they need the food more. Photos courtesy of John, not me. To show how good he is, here are a couple of his cormorant photos and one of a grebe. The others were taken with an SLR but this is taken with his new Digital.