Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Catching the worm

A Monday morning at the beginning of a week off work. A lie-in may seem to be in order, but instead, we rose at 5.50am ( we were both awake anyway) and embarked on a dawn stroll. It was still dark as we walked up the lane from our house, but a lightness could be seen to the east. As we reached the top of the lane the dawn chorus was starting to find its voice. Not quite the full-on festival of spring and early summer but still a clear welcoming of the day by the locals.

This was soon outdone however by the growing croak of the rooks, spreading out in their dozens and hundreds along the valley. At this time of year they are starting to form their huge roosts, locally notably at Buckenham Carrs (see Mark Cocker's excellent 'Crow Country' for an examination of this huge annual Corvid mela of tens of thousands of rooks and jackdaws.) As the sky around gradually lightened they seemed almost to be commuters, readying themselves for a day of graft in their office of fields, seeking and grazing. One could hear their loud chatter before they materialised in packs out of the grey sky. The presence of the last bats of the night, and the hoots of nearby owls lent the whole scene an air of familiarity from our evening twilight strolls, but curiously reversed as the still, mild, autumnal day took shape.

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