18 Jan 2015

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Dull and damp. A party of seven Blue Tits feed where the ground is cleared, under the young ash and hawthorn beside the school field.

Hundreds of Woodpigeons burst from the game cover, among them a very few Stock Doves.

Goldcrests on the escarpment, in the plantation and along the track. After two mild winters they abound.

Little sound, but one or two thrushes and crow calls carry far in the wet air.

The path through the plantation runs wet too, in places washed to chalk pavement. In the grey of the winter, under the hanger of ash, the bare pale chalk and the green bright mosses appear lurid.

By the track down to the Coach Road from the Beacon, the powerful boughs of beech are exposed, growing parallel to the ground, muscular but forced northeastwards even so.

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