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The Freezing Year List

Cademuir Plantation

It’s slow-going, this perambulatory birding business, imposed not out of my car-free commitment but more because I can’t be arsed to dig the vehicle out. So, I took this morning to tramp three or so miles round Cademuir Plantation, just south of my brother’s house in Peebles. (I’m cat-sitting in case anyone’s confused. The cat’s confused.)

Somehow, I expected crossbills and soon started to hear crossbill-type noises. I was doubtful though until five minutes later I spied a group of about ten above me. That’s another decent year species and the entire walk took me up to 38 thanks also to bullfinch, long-tailed tit, a distantly heard raven, great spotted woodpecker and a surprisingly late wren. The total is not too shabby against Walkwood’s average monthly score of 35 and less so given the conditions. The nearby Tweed helps, of course.

Hundleshope Heights, Borders

The woods were otherwise quiet – in fact, dead silent in parts and eerily atmospheric in a low sun, as I hope the top picture shows. The fells further south were a blanket of snow. It’ll take a while for that lot to clear but the rivers will be worth seeing when it does. Not any time soon though: the forecast doesn’t have us climbing above zero in the next five days.

The year list itself could freeze where it is. How’s yours doing?

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