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Country diary 1917: ducks float like toy birds in the early haze

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 October 1917Surrey, October 11This morning was chill. Wild duck were on a broad stretch of backwater which has come from the river overflow in the low marsh; they floated like toy birds in the early haze. After a while they flew, skimming the ripples closely enough to make scattered particles shimmer in the rising sun, their green-grey and chestnut plumage throwing out a show of different colours in the flight. They settled among the tall reeds along the river bank, with lapwing playing overhead, then came out to rest for a long time on the water again. Mist was still white along the hedgerow, frosting haws and the now crimson "winter pears" on wild rose bushes, which are rich in yellow leaf. Up in the spinney a greenfinch went from bough to bough of a thorn, high and low, his feathers now dull in shade, now almost the colour of young lime leaves where the sun struck through. Alighting on a branch, the sound of a long, sweet note satisfied the ear, then, as his wings just opened, a faint twitter was hardly heard. Flying off a little, he always came back to the spreading thorn again. Related: How to access the Guardian and Observer digital archive Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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