Despite being wet, windy and cold, spring is very much so around the corner. Spring plants are already emerging, my Daffodils in the Garden are almost flowering and Snowdrops are popping up everywhere. Saw my first yesterday at my local fishing ponds.
Birds are also sensing this change, with temperatures slowly rising as the days get longer and those cold nights shorten. One bird particularly has adopted the help of family in order to survive the cold winter nights and thats the Long-tailed Tit. Once fledged from the nest, the youngsters will even help their parents to raise a second brood of chicks. This includes assisting to build new nests, chick feeding and maintenance. This family bond takes them right through the winter also, with strength in numbers, not just for the extra eyes to look out for predators and food, but to physically huddle up with to keep warm at night.