COUNTRY DIARY: A STONECHAT WATCHES THE KERFUFFLE IN SILENCE

A cast of hundreds has descended on the farm fields in midwinter. Out in the winter wheat, a rowdy assortment of crows behave like gatecrashers at a party where the booze has already run out. Trampling their restlessness over the first leaves of grass, cawing and wing-flapping, they claw at chilled soil where frost-averse invertebrates are dead, dormant or deep below. The crows don’t stay long. ...

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