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On the far side of the electric fence, a flock of sheep, which were climbing over each other to reach a bale of hay. On the near side, a flock of fieldfares and a few redwings, eating (I assume) the seeds of whatever crop the sheep are being kept from by means of the fence. Personally I’m happy to have found the winter thrushes, and to know that they haven’t left the village – but then, I’m not a farmer.

It was bitterly cold when I took my walk this afternoon – the cutting wind was coming from the south, but presumably via a roundabout route from somewhere frozen, because I had to pull my scarf around most of my face to stop my ears and jaw from hurting. Even the trees were squeaking and grumbling, and there were hardly any small birds about – so I was surprised, on taking a path I don’t usually walk and which passes between two farms, to find scores of winter thrushes calmly feeding in this field.

But then, they are from Scandinavia.