It is still freezing outside, icy snow is thick on the ground, and feeding the local birds has almost become a full time job now they are struggling in the cold. An old starling who isn't strong enough to fly with the others is taking shelter in our garden shed, and crows have started visiting our tables to take away suet and grated cheese.
Most of the smaller birds are happy to flutter about and wrestle over the seed, but our resident robin does not like being watched by a regular feline visitor.
Whenever cat and bird meet there is a tense face-off.
The robin stares down the cat, chirps at him and hops up to within paw-swiping distance. The cat looks confused at the sight of a tiny bird strutting aggressively forward when it should be flying away, but this feisty robin is not to be trifled with. She is very happy to show the cat who is in charge. She chases him - wings flapping - until he clambers away over the wall, then stands guard, watching him slink grumpily away.
Our garden has acquired a little red-breasted guardian, and she is taking her job very seriously indeed.
This week was also a good week for book news as Wintercraft has been longlisted in the children's category of the People's Book Prize!
The People's Book Prize finalists are chosen by readers who vote for their favourite longlisted book online. So if you enjoyed the book and would like to cast a vote, you could help carry it through to the final stage.
To see the nominated books, click here. All you need is your name and email address to register on the website, then click on the book cover, fill in your details and mark the voting box on Wintercraft's featured page. Voting closes on February 28th 2011.
Can Wintercraft make it to the final?
Now it's time for me to pull on my boots and feed the feathered garden-dwellers with jugs of suet and seed.
Don't forget to put food and water out for the birds in your garden this winter.
Our feathered friends need all the help they can get.