Sunday morning and a chill westerly wind cast a thin veil of ice on the puddles. After yesterday’s glimpses of sunshine the weather had reverted back to a gloomy chill-ridden morning. On the stubble field, alongside the railway line, a large flock of Fieldfares – perhaps a hundred strong – fled at our approach. Flying low and for a short distance they kept a respectable distance from us. Their ‘chuck-chuck’ calls revealing their nervousness. I wondered whether the flock size was a pre-migration gathering, but their leaving is probably some time off yet.
The wind whipped along the river Mermaid. A few Woodpigeon, curved their aerial path against the breeze. A Buzzard set its wings and soared just above tree height; a relaxed but string-less kite. Its rich rufous plumagewas illuminated in the thin morning light. After a short while, with a barely perceptible adjustment it alighted in the old ash tree. A Magpie landed nearby a mobbed the Buzzard from a branch a few yards away. Further on, another flock, this time Redwings, fled at our passing. The Winter, we feel, is slipping away.