In early November autumn fruits were the seasonal highlight by the lake at Sizergh. An exotic rowan (Sorbus Vilmorinii) bore a mass of pink berries. Now light penetrates through winter trees and the herb layer responds with a flourish.
Snowdrops grow in the mountains of northern Italy, their leaf-tips pushing up through the snow. They're called buca neve, and snow-piercer is one of their English names.
A flock of birds flies into the crown of a tree, probably winter thrush but they're silent, the tree is tall with a screen of twigs and the light is poor. There's a tell-tale glimpse of red on a bird's flank and a pale supercilium and a whitish line below the cheek confirm redwing. I know winter thrush, not only through field-craft and a long fascination with them but through a forensic search of my images and today I find only redwing. Even when a bird is merely silhouette there's jizz to go on- something about the stance, the poise and shape of the head that says redwing. Fieldfare is a heavier thrush with a long tail.