It is the brown time.
Ploughed fields and bare trees in the sleety rain. The clouds are full of snow that doesn’t fall and sun that blinds momentarily and is then gone swallowed by a slab of racing grey .
We are counting red kites for the LPO ( French bird charity) Red kite survey. They are rare in the Alsace outside of the Vosges Mountains and just where we live on the edge of the Jura Mountains. I see one most days from the garden and more when they move through on migration in spring and autumn.
I am glad to be in the car, as all the various hunts are out this cold Sunday and the chance of being shot seems abnormally high.
Over two days of watching we have seen 13 red kites ( Milan royal) all together, but a few may have been the same bird counted twice.
There have been a few blackbirds, crows a raven and a kestrel and then thousands of little birds flowed over the brow of the hill. Chaffinches and bramblings poured over unexpectedly and covered the bare trees like so many leaves against the sky.
Nothing to see really.