Because our office is right on the edge of the city, between the A1 and Ferry Meadows, I rarely go into Peterborough itself. Today, though I had to, so drove round and parked in the street behind the bowling alley, close to the Passport Office.
As I got out of the car, a Woodcock flashed past about half a dozen yards away, disappearing between buildings towards a nearby park. I just had time to see the rusty tail and the long bill before it went out of sight.
Peterborough's a city in which it's pretty hard to get very far from green open spaces, so after the permafrost conditions of the last week, it probably shouldn't be too much of a surprise to find one taking advantage of the higher temperatures (and softer ground) in a city centre park. What was baffling was trying to work out where it had come from immediately before - it seemed to materialise out of a brick wall!
My Birds Britannica tells me that Michael Drayton, guiding spirit of this blog, referred to the bird as "witlesse", but if this one really was beating the freeze by joining the Black-headed Gulls on the local park, he seems to have been way off the mark.