Getting up at an unearthly hour to count the geese every month can sometimes be a bit of a trial, but there are some things that make it worthwhile - the song of a skylark, giving it laldy somewhere overhead in the darkness before dawn; groups of roe deer grazing along the field margins, coming within twenty yards before catching sight or smell of the car, and bolting away into the sunrise, or leaping over the fences with astonishing grace; a flight of whooper swans skimming low over the wood and straight over the car, 'whoong-ing' to each other as they pass overhead. And of course, the geese, in their thousands, rising from the loch and the Low Ground where they have been roosting and feeding to head out into the dawn in search of more food, building strength for the new breeding season.
And the sunrise... each early morning this year, the sun rises a little bit further north. In mid-January, it rose in a scarlet and fuchsia glory behind the Rookery Wood. This morning, it was a full hands-width further round, beyond the airfield; pink filigree lighting the clouds before the gold-on-blue brilliance made using my binoculars a distinctly unsafe business. It marks the changing seasons as much as the snowdrops that flourish in the damp woodlands, or the sudden appearance of lambs, which pop up as if hatching from the turnips their mothers are feeding on. (Or are they helping them to hatch? My passing aliens might suspect so.) Spring is finally showing signs of returning.
And one day I'll figure out how to stick a video into a blog post without have to do it separately!