We were pottering off to our antique shop friends at Clola the other day, a route which takes us past a very fine class of oldfashioned village pond. There are generally ducks and things on it, but I was surprised to see the hunched, prehistoric-looking shape of a cormorant — not generally an inland bird. Unsurprisingly, everything else had vanished, though I noticed a couple of poor little coots scuttling away under cover of a hedge as fast as their legs could carry them. Very wisely, I suspect. Your cormorant is a ruthless feeder. I’ve just had an exciting moment with the garden birds. I scattered some seed on the ground, and got the usual flock of chaffinches. Then this rather attractive little brown job appeared, and realised I hadn’t a clue what it was. After some work with the RSPB website, I found it: a twite! I had no idea that there was any such bird. I was particularly pleased since it’s the name of a favourite fictional heroine. Also, they are quite rare, but we are very remote and rural, which helps to account for it.