A cracking morning to be down for a wander on the shore, where the barnacle geese are now happily set up and the hedges are alive with thrushes and blackbirds on the haws. A particularly fine roe buck watched me as I came through the gate onto the merse, his head slightly off-balanced by the single antler on his brow. He is one of the first cast or half cast bucks I’ve seen this year, as if his thick winter coat was not enough of a reminder of the changing seasons.
Yellowhammers buzzed from the tops of the naked elders, and as I reached the shore, a thick mass of geese roared out of the crushed white grass where they had been grumbling out of sight. They rose like a black cloud, revolving and turning in the sun as their white bellies glowed pink and gold. I was in their way, and for ten minutes they passed right over my head in massed ranks and yelling lines so dense, constant and low that they almost parted my hair. They landed off behind me, and as I walked home, the conversational buzz of chattering yaps became a rumble.