As a follow-on from yesterday’s observations, I have started to see that the usual gangs of crows are breaking up on the Chayne, and one bunch of five has now become two groups of two. In amongst them, a weird crow missing several of its primary feathers on each wing has appeared and now makes up a third pair. This is definite progress, and I will get round to tackling them in their roosts in the next few days.
I also happened to see a huge gathering of buzzards over towards Balmaclellan yesterday, and I counted thirteen birds all hanging together in the kind of wind that would cut you in half. It is no surprise that the wind should have been so cold, since it was obliged to pass over the massive frozen wastes of the three Cairnsmores on its way down my collar and up my cuffs. The buzzards were performing their own rather underwhelming take on so-called “skydancing”, and they stooped and rose together above a boggy patch of myrtle and fallen bracken. A couple of kites joined in, but I must admit that I left them to it. There are many more interesting things to see at this time of year.
After dark I headed up the hill to go lamping, but was hit with such a vigorous flurry of snow that I threw in the towel after an hour. There are still plenty of woodcock on the farm, and several of them rose from one of their more popular haunts. The snow lay beautifully overnight beneath the moon, but it has now all been rinsed away with the return of some typically bitter sleet.