The better weather brought plenty of birds out, but the highlight was a clear view of a female Blackcap in the garden between bowling green and bothy. Blackcaps are warblers with a pretty song which we heard often last spring. They are still mainly spring migrants to the UK and spend the winter in Spain, Portugal or West Africa, but as our climate has warmed, a small population overwinters here (estimated as "3000 and increasing" by the RSPB). By coincidence, Sue had seen a male Blackcap in her garden a few days earlier, so it is gratifying to know that they are hanging on in lovely Lewisham. The male has a black head (hence the name 'Blackcap') and the female a brown head; both have a light grey breast. Our female didn't stay around long enough for me to get a photo, but here's one from the Web.
In other news, the Tawny Owl was heard again earlier this month by a Cliffview resident (thanks, Keith!). Great Tits which have been quiet since early summer can now be heard calling most days and other birds should be getting more vocal from January onwards. On which 'note', may I thank everyone who takes the time to visit and read (and occasionally comment on) Hilly Fields Birdwatch and wish you all the best for 2013.