Sunday, 5 February 2012
The sting in the tail
Lapwings have been locally plentiful this winter and we came across a single one hopping across a field, not apparently injured but simply crawling about in a tractor rut, allowing me close enough to see the iridescent green of its wings, the bands of colour that are reduced to black and white when viewed at distance, and even to take a photo on my phone. Groups of redwings and fieldfares hopped along hedgerows and trees, seeking berries remaining precariously on outer limbs since easier fare was harvested. The muted landscape forms a unique acoustic backdrop and I became aware that the held breath of a cold snap brings its own soundtrack of clear birds' calls mixed with the distant voices of children enjoying the landscape anew; even my footsteps trudged out their own rhythmic crunch .