Through the glass of the front door, we make out a blackbird, unsteadily perched on the holly and evergreen branches I've wrapped around with ivy. It's come for the berries and every day it will come back until the wreath is bare.
Has it been a year of birds, any more than other years?
There were the countless mosaic birds of Ravenna and the birds on the TV aerial outside the Airbnb flat. There is the resident robin on the allotment and flights of goldfinches, endlessly busy wrens.
There are cormorants at the marina and today, a pair of pigeons crowding into an opening in the chalk on the undercliff.
A gang of sparrows keeps up its chatter between Liz's garden next door and in the shrubs around my bird bath, waiting in turn to drink and wash.
And each late afternoon, I seem to look out of the window at the exact time a group of starlings is heading to the pier for the daily murmuration before sleep.