We are being battered by a winter storm, with winds gusting to 80mph, hail and lashing rain. Our garden fences have finally collapsed, and in Palace Road Nature Garden a young silver birch has come down.
There's hardly a bird to be seen outside; most are sheltering from the wind and rain. With no leaves on most of the trees they put up less resistance to the wind and are better able to stay upright, but provide less cover for birds, which need evergreens, shrubs and ivy to hide in at this time of year.
Hopefully the storm will pass before it gets dark; birds that miss an entire day's feeding at this time of year may well not survive the night.