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The Cuckoo is slightly early this year; announcing his presence with a circuit of the village at 5.15 this morning. In the clear, slightly chilly morning air his call was clear and close – the closer they are, the more the syllables separate. His aerial tour continued to the river, calling all the way.

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Brampton Spring: mimic

April 17, 2016

For some days now we have been scanning the skies for the early morning Buzzard whose call drifts across the village. The strange thing being that Buzzards are not normally early risers. The tend to wait for the warmer air which makes their thermal-borne soaring survey so much easier. This one seemed to be an early bird. Then it became clear. The Buzzard in the copse, in which the trees look too spindly to support a bird of any size, was not a Buzzard at all. The call was that of a mimic; a Jay, which seemed to be chortling quietly to itself as it hopped away – happy to have caused a little confusion in the garden.

Brampton Spring: chorus

April 17, 2016

The dawn chorus is reaching a new intensity. The song of the natives, such as the Robin and the Wren, is being strengthened by the complex warblings of newly arrived summer visitors. Setting aside the monotony of the Chiffchaff’s two-note, the chorus has been expanded by other members of the Warbler clan. Blackcaps and Garden Warblers can now be be heard – they seem to have upped the general volume with their full-throated tunes. They seem to be making themselves at home in the shrubby wildernesses of copses and marshy areas which are scattered through the parish. We wait for the Cuckoo.

As for the trees, the Oaks buds are starting to burst, many Sycamores are out, the Hawthorns are a rich green. The Ashes are yet to show. The Blackthorns, or those which have survived the scorched earth policy of the over zealous clearance of the Bure Valley Railway, are adorned with snow fresh blossom.