It is an icebox, with delicate visitors where the river moves.
And everything taking a long breath where water has vanished under a glassy lid.
The white bird in the photo of the river is a little egret, a graceful relation of herons. Several of them have taken up residence in my local wetlands, while the grey heron itself lurks in the undergrowth.
They may consider it cold; siskins, on the other hand, come here to escape. Some do breed in southern England, especially in the New Forest and the Brecks, but most spend their summers in Wales, Scotland or the continent.
But the frost in the hedgerows is a reminder that spring is still a fair time away.