The blue tits are nesting in the bird box (as they do every year) on the south east corner of the house, but are under threat from the cats. One jumped up and got his paw through the nest box hole the other day, so our granddaughter garlanded it with a wreath of holly and furze, which seems to have worked without scaring the birds away.
The first hawthorn flowers have appeared in the north hedge, seemingly overnight. They are common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and not Midland hawthorn (C. laevigata) or the hybrid between the two, both of which usually flower up to a fortnight earlier in this area. The leaves on this plant are, however, not quite the usual shape for common hawthorn, so I wonder if some different genes have somehow got into the mix locally.