Freezing today. Minus 3 at noon; deep, deep frost everywhere when we got up this morning.
We went for a meander along the banks of the river [Tyne] and were quite shocked to see that the level of the river had fallen so low. Rocky islands have appeared with hundreds and hundreds of birds on them, landing and taking off, landing and taking off. Where do they come from? Where do they live when there are no river islands?
One island was full of cormorants; they are such self-possessed birds, I'm sure they know when they are being looked at. There's something about the way a cormorant stands to dry its wings, theatrical and extrovert, that is immensely appealing.
They are incredible swimmers, apparently although whenever I have seen them they are always motionless, waiting for their next meal to come to them.