A week ago I was pulling up some weeds in our garden when I had a sensation that something was behind me - that I was being watched. I turned around and looked up into one of our apple trees to see a very plump owl, a Boobook and staring at me with the stern expression perfected by hawk owls. It is yet another instance of the way birds have inveigled their way into my life. As I've mentioned before ("Away with the Birds") I am not a bird watcher, but year by year I seem to be noticing birds more and more. They seem to be always there, catching me unawares, jolting me out of other tasks to wonder about their lives. Like the white-faced heron I glimpsed stabbing at gold fish in our pond by the back door. Or looking up from my lounge chair to see a red-browed finch flying into our patio wisteria with long threads of grass for a spot of nest weaving. Who needs TV when you've got such unbidden sights to behold and such stories to follow.