This week we have been suffering with adverse weather - the "Beast from the East" as it has been named - with piercingly cold temperatures, wind and snow.
By putting out food and water several times a day, we've tried to help out the birds in the garden, and have been delighted to see a large number of birds coming in.
The most exciting have been Fieldfares, which don't usually come into the garden at all, except in really cold weather.
Fieldfares are beautiful, quite large birds in the thrush family, which migrate here each winter from the far North of Europe and Asia.
They really appreciate fruit and berries, and by putting out pieces of apple, we certainly attracted them - though they are very quarrelsome birds, and they spent a good deal of their time chasing one another away from their coveted bit of food.
I was able to spend plenty of time observing them and making sketches, and will make use of the reference in future paintings.