Well I did mine today at 3pm, in bright conditions, but with a howling bonechiller of an easterly wind promising to keep the birds huddled away.
Last year, if you remember, it was a bit pathetic, but the presence of a marauding sparrowhawk may have prompted to keep the songbirds to keep their heads down. This year, I saw more birds in the first ten minutes than I did in the whole of last year's watch.
I resolved to watch from my dark doorway, out of the wind and hopefully not too disturbing of the birds, and as soon as I opened my door I saw woodpigeons and blackbirds. Indeed, the local blackbirds were very busy the whole time ferreting through the leaf litter, occasionally tossing the leaves high above their heads in a show of strength.
There were plenty of gulls and feral pigeons flying overhead, but not many small songbirds in evidence. Both my neighbours have feeders, but no birds were visiting. Some very obvious birds were missing - no robins when normally you say at least one knocking around, no great tits - and no more interesting visitors like winter thrushes or blackcaps.
However, it is good to closely observe your own garden area, rather than hunting further afield.
There's always something to see when you keep your eyes open.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.01.18