The last two mornings a Song Thrush has sung boldly from a tree in the garden as I have shivered out into the cold first light to let out my ducks. Such a small bird must surely feel the cold and I wonder at his efforts. Is he practicing for spring – literally ‘warming up’ in readiness? I can’t help but note the scarcity of those beautiful, full, fluting notes repeated over and over on warmer days. Instead, his notes major on the more scratchy, squawky elements with only the hint of that deep-throated and far-carrying song that gives him his name. I can well imagine his little voice box to be tightened up with the cold, unable to relax enough to allow his full song to flow. Nevertheless, I silently applaud his gallant sub-song, grateful for it as I shiver back into the warmth of the house.