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four and a half weeks on from winter solstice, and the weather spring-like, with birdsong in the mornings; January almost over. the winter geese are still with us; Pinkfooted leave by the end of March, but Brent stay until April or May.

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walking around Holt Lowes’ scrubby woodland in the sunshine yesterday, there was no real sign of spring in the undergrowth – abundant russet bracken which still hangs on, autumn leaves still piled up – but suddenly I noticed all the gorse in flower. it’s a kind of gorsebush which flowers all year round to an extent, but this looked like a positive surge of yellow flowers.

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something soft and indefinite about the light, not full sunshine, with everything still sodden from the days of rain.

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there was a Muntjac deer in full sight amongst the bracken which Tilda and Sal could not resist. they lost it immediately, but T did three more passes around the woods looking for it.

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