THE unfortunate pangolin or scaly ant-eater is a mammal little was heard of until implicated in the present Covid-19 pandemic.

After political turmoil and protests, there have been serious storms and flooding attributed to climate change and now we have this.

Our human complacency as the dominant species on earth is being challenged on several fronts.

The prospect of prolonged lockdown will bring some of this home to us as individuals with spring fitfully trying to emerge.

A walk was indicated round the home patch to see how other life, that is oblivious of our concerns, is faring.

Local tawny owls have gone quiet now intent as early breeders on nesting.

Similarly long-tailed tits are not far behind, coming out of their winter parties to appear in pairs.

A jingling flock of goldfinches has been a familiar sound when other finches seemed largely absent.

But chaffinches are back calling from their favourite trees and it is good to hear wheezy greenfinches after years of decline.

The explosive song of the little wren and quieter notes of the robin can be depended on and before blackbirds really start the stately notes of the song, thrush are cheering even in poor light.

Its larger cousin the mistle thrush can sometimes confuse, though its song, usually delivered from a high tree, has a wilder, less precise quality.

Great and blue tits, mainstays of most winter gardens are increasingly vocal with the black-bibbed great tit teasingly diverse in calls, its “sawing” notes being most often heard.

Green and great-spotted woodpeckers make up the roll-call of familiar birds near to home, with the territorial tree-trunk drumming of the latter a startling sound. Down by Holland Brook, in Holland-on-Sea, mallard, which are already paired, take off in quacking, skittish flight.

Smaller teal and curlews remain in small groups and are shortly due to return to northern breeding grounds. Courting shelduck are a surprise away from the coast, but may soon make nests in nearby farm straw-stacks.

Seven mute swans rise with thrumming wingbeats followed by two noisy greylag geese.

The gaze shifted in the small nearby wood to early flowers.

Patches of scented sweet violets with primroses on a bank surely an essence of early spring when bluebells still just massed green leaves.

These along with birdsong help sooth anxieties of what is to come – such a walk can truly serve as a green tonic.