And it is not that the cold spell has brought in a significant influx of winter Thrushes. Old Barn Field held 400 Fieldfare and about 100 Redwing:
Or even that March madness has struck the local Hares. Here they can be seen going crazy in a snowstorm. Freezing conditions clearly have no effect on their hormones:
It is the fact that I received, thanks to John Melling, some bad, and then some astoundingly good, news. The bad news is that the River Thame is now officially "one of the most degraded tributaries of the River Thames". Fame at last! But perhaps not in any positive way. You may recall me mentioning the appalling quality of the local habitat just once or twice. A minute. For the last 5 years.
The absolutely amazing news is that the River Thame Conservation Trust (est 2012) together with the Pond Conservation Trust have been awarded £180,000 by DEFRA to improve the habitat along the River Thame in a 2 year project. Perhaps, at last, this initiative may be about to slowly turn things around. Full details here. There will be more on this later, I am even minded to give these guys a hand, the wildlife around here needs all the help it can get.