After a couple of weeks with scant chance for any birding, it was nice to be joined by Tom for a saunter around the local patch, doing a circular up to Betley, down the river to New Inn and back along Hollands Lane. It still felt like the calm before the storm, as we’re still awaiting the influx of spring migrants, and the only evidence that the breeding season is about to get underway were 5 singing Chiffchaffs. Indeed, a mixed flock of about 50 Redwings and Fieldfares at Betley Bridge illustrated that winter isn’t that far behind us. Also worthy of note was good views of a Buzzard by West End Lane that had a striking rufous tail.