There’s a kingfisher by the bridge this morning. It soon flies off, but I spot it again further downstream, perched on a hawthorn in the full light of the sun. Its feathers are as fresh and bright as any I’ve seen. A swan preens itself among the leafy fronds of a weeping willow nearby. Sunbeams bounce off the water’s surface and chase across the pure white of its head and breast.

At Cotterstock, a pair of grey wagtails fly round and round, starting at the bridge, then across the pond to the miller’s house, then onto the roof of the mill itself, then back down to ...


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