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Lobbed litter

February 19, 2012

You would not have thought that litter picking could be such an enjoyable community event, but perhaps it is due to the collective ability to identify a foe. The foe is this case being the mobile fast food consumer – especially the ones who, having had their fill, deposit the container in the nearest roadside hedge. The village is about 15 minutes away from the junk food source and I suppose that is about how long it takes to consume whilst driving with the other hand, before lobbing it out of the window.

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Iron frost and ducks

February 11, 2012

We woke up to an iron frost. As we walked out on the Common, the Bure was alive with wild duck. So many in fact that the book of collective nouns was taken off the shelf. A “spring” of Teal above Oxnead Bridge are as good as their word and take off with near vertical suddenness, only to alight again 50 yards further away. A little further upstream the frosty silence is gently broken by haunting cries announced small herd of Curlew at the top of Limekiln Farm. Further still, at least a score of duck wheeled around the Island Marsh – these proved to be Wigeon. Wigeon cause delight in their nouns; a bunch or a coil or a knob, all seem to sum them up beautifully. They circle at low levels before quickly settling below Burgh Mill.

a view in Winter

February 5, 2012

Wigeon arrive on the marsh as the village slumbers in it’s blanket of snow. A small flock of these fast-flying duck circle us as we scan the riverside snow for footprints. The meandering trail of a morning fox provided evidence of his thoughts – out for an unsuspecting Moorhen or duck – the trail followed any little clue to and fro to the water’s edge. Smaller creatures, mostly voles, scurried their tubby ways from sedge to bolthole. Swans which looked so white under normal conditions reveal themselves to be a rich cream against the backdrop of snow covered marshes. Snipe are here in numbers; they spring away and follow crazy zig-zag flight patterns emitting their wispy call. As we open the Church for Sunday a Woodcock flies rapidly at head-height through the churchyard, full of bombast and intent.

The marsh is full of noises

February 2, 2012

At sunrise on Sunday morning the river and woods swirled with mists and vapours. The temperature veered wildly as we walked along the Bure towards the Common.  The Keeper’s Wood resounded with an unworldly noise. The calls of a dog Fox and Vixen rang around the marsh – presumably engaged in creating the next generation.  I dispelled thoughts of the Sherlock’s Grimpen Mire and carried on. The light changing continuously from mist to translucence within a few yards, then eventually settling into what passes for normal at this time of year. It was a morning that JMW Turner would have appreciated.