• Brampton Carol Singing 2016

    Thankfully Christmas Eve was a fine clear night with the moon almost full. The Brampton Carol Singers sang their way through the village and raised £198 for East Anglian Children’s Hospice through their efforts and the kind generosity (not to mention their hospitality) of the villagers.

    Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.

  • Mild weather, but for the birds, hedgerow food supplies start to run low

    The weather may be mild, but the winter thrushes are rapidly working their way through the hedgerow reserves. Two weeks ago they targeted the Hawthorns – the red berries were stripped over a couple of days. Flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings worked systematically from bush to bush, their rasping and piping calls filling the air as we disturb them. This morning the self sown apple tree in the railway cutting was the target – the apples soften on the branch or fall easily making them the favoured fruit. The bullet hard and bitter Sloes remain untouched; except of course by their human harvesters who have started their gin concoctions.

  • A Brampton Autumn: a heavy berry crop foretells of a hard winter (?)

    Brampton wears her Autumn coloursimage

  • Autumn encounter

    During the Autumn twilight a pair of Roe deer made their silent way out from the woodland edge. The breeze blew gently in our faces so they continued unaware that they were being watched. Unaware that is until one of our restless dogs gave the game away. The doe looked up and eyed us cautiously. There was no flight for safety. Instead they ambled quietly along the old hedge line and carried on with their foraging.

    Roe in the gloaming
    Roe in the gloaming

  • Deer in October

    As I drive out of the village each morning, three deer watch. They stand knee-high amongst the sugar beet. Their coats have turned into an Autumn hue of dark russet brown, the red fox gloss of Summer having long gone. The Buck only relaxes as I am just about to drive under the bridge. They return to their task – grazing to build up their fat reserves.

  • September wake of Buzzards

    Warm afternoons in September often bring the Buzzards through. The local family group or “wake” maintain contact with one another with their mewing cries. They share a thermal but not at a single altitude – I tend to notice the lowest first and then, as my eyes adjust, another, then a third and a fourth. Each higher than the last. The group seem to circle lazily, but then you become aware how far and fast they are drifting. They are watching, scanning, looking. Gathering as if at a funeral. A wake of Buzzards.

  • Dawn in Late August

    As Summer gives way to the onset of Autumn, the noise of Rooks and Jackdaws becomes the sound marker for dawn. Weeks have elapsed since we heard the last of the dawn choruses of early Summer. Now, it is bird movement which gives rise to noise – Rooks leaving their roosts call to one another as they stream towards the stubble fields and freshly cultivated land. The Jackdaws seem to treat this event as a joyride. In contrast to the steady purposeful flight of the Rooks, the Jackdaws swoop and sport in small groups whilst calling in a loud cacophony.

  • This Summer’s young take to the air

    There are newly fledged birds throughout the parish. Young Swallows hawk in family groups over the ripening barley alongside the railway line. They occasionally perch precariously on a wire fence whilst their parents fly around in escort duty. This must be their first foray – their short tails give away their relative youth and their approach has an air of easily distracted youth about it.

    Down at Oxnead Mill the Kingfishers call constantly as their progeny explore the immediate territory for the first time. They are still being fed and the parents run a shuttle service up and down stream calling as they approach with newly caught fish.

    As I approach the Town Field a young Buzzard rises from its perch in a scrubby oak. A few falls of its wings before it gathers the rising air and sails higher in a spiralling vortex. I watch it scanning the ground as it circles higher.

  • The little things make all the difference

    A bit of gravel (OK 1 3/4 tonnes) makes everything look more presentable.
    A bit of gravel (OK 1 3/4 tonnes) makes everything look more presentable.

    The churchyard has had a bit of a polish: newly painted gates thanks to Jenny and William; a topped up gravel path (courtesy of Tim, Richard, Fiona and Roz)and its first trim. The cutting of the churchyard, by Clive of Norse Ltd, follows a careful pattern – balancing the need to gain access to the graveyard with the conservation interest which involves allowing set areas to grow wild whilst the flowers seed and the daffodils die-back. The whole looks a real picture.

  • Brampton Spring: May slips into her Summer clothes

    So far, the weather during Whitsun has been ideal. Warm days with the ocassional shower have helped the hedgerows, meadows and banks to burgeon. It has led to that ideal combination, the rich and varied greens topped with the whites and creams of Hawthorn and Cow Parsley. Just before the lanes have, out of safety and necessity, to be mown back, we have enjoyed the rich diversity of it all. No frost of any note has court back the blossom, so in time we should enjoy a fruitful Autumn.

    Lush grass , Buttercups and hawthorn blossom garland the May meadow
    Lush grass , Buttercups and hawthorn blossom garland the May meadow
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