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The Harvest Moon sailed through clear skies over the village following last weeks autumn equinox. During the same evening four straggling House Martins circled over the cottages. They had stopped off on their trip south. The majority of Martins appear to have left over the last ten days or so. The Swallows went earlier, they made their way south soon after the afternoon of15th September – when I watched a family group hawking for insects low over the wheat stubble.

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Village Buzzard

September 30, 2012

In the clear afternoon sky we watch a Buzzard as it effortlessly soared over the Town Field. It’s markings etched and visible in the crystal air under a blue sky. Buzzards are spreading rapidly in the area now and this year seems to have been a good breeding year for them. Many copses and spinneys carry their resident pair and the keeow calls drift down – a sound that, in my youth, I connected with visits to moors and hills of the west rather than the arable lands of Norfolk.

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Local legend has is that a scattering of Portuguese Gold Reals rained from the royal coach as it approached Oxnead. The workmen who surrounded the newly repaired bridge scrambled in the Bure to recover the coins as a memento. For weeks and perhaps months they had sweated over building works at Oxnead Hall. In a throwback to the regal progresses of Elizabeth I, the Lord of the Manor Sir Robert Paston had committed his fortune and more besides to a banqueting hall fit for a King. But it was the narrowness of the new bridge which allowed the locals to get close to their sovereign.

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