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Even as another smear of rain blows in our faces and the Winter mood appears to darken further, there are signs of life and the hint of preparation. The Ash’s black buds glisten and promise something for the future. Bullfinches work the new hedges at Low Farm and the contact calls of a distant group of Golden Plover drift through the murk.

In the village, the scent of wood smoke drifts along the Street. Cottages are decorated and decorations have appeared in the church for Christmas as everyone clings on to the light on the shortest day.

Finches

January 1, 2012

Finches flock along the Bure on a frosty morning. Goldfinches working hard on the river side Alders, but no sign of any Linnets so far. In fact thinking about the Brampton finch population the Linnets have declined but Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Bullfinches seem to be doing very well. The riverside Goldfinch flock was ten strong. In the garden similar numbers of Greenfinches form raiding parties on the feeders. The Bullfinches are more elusive but are common in their favoured haunts along the railway line and in the allotment hedgerows.

Early silence

November 9, 2011

A brief moment of silence this morning, broken only by the gentle contact calls of foraging flocks. Firstly a small flock of Redwings announce their presence by a their gentle sub whistling calls only to be echoed by Bullfinches. Now the time has come for wintering birds to make use of the bounteous supplies of seed or berry before times get tougher. As yet no frost of any significance has softened the sloes, so it is likely to be the hawthorn berries which are popular, for the Thrushes at least.
The Ash trees have dropped their leaves this week – thus joining the Poplars which are always the first to succumb. the Oaks are hanging on but they are looking isolated in a the
bare-branched ash lined railway.

Waiting for spring

January 24, 2011

Around dawn this morning dawn, the planet Venus outshone the Moon in the southern sky over Brampton. The skies clouded over rapidly from the west ruining the spectacle.

Rooks set out in a straggling flock from Oxnead, the attendant Jackdaws seeming to burst with their usual excessive playfulness and noise. On the railway line Blackbirds loiter, not quite sure if spring is approaching. There is no song from them – only the Robins have the metal to start what they have finished and their challenging song continues.

In the cutting a small resident flock of Bullfinches communicate with wistful low calls. They congregate around the thorns waiting for succulent buds to form.