Sunday, 5 February 2012

The sting in the tail

This hitherto mild winter has saved its hardest bite for late in the day. Walking in the snowy landscape today, the promise of spring seemed suddenly distant once more. Overhead vast flocks of rooks and wood pigeons wheeled and roamed, seeking what sustenance they could below the snow.

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 .

1 comment:

  1. Adam, I wondered if you could identify a bird for me that Duncan and I have been debating. Unfortunately I can't send you an email through this blog, but it is detailed on my website - It's in the photography gallery - No 14 of 21. Can you help?