Country diary: the last of the redwings slip away | Lev Parikian

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West Norwood, south London: These sharp little thrushes have been a tonic to this long winter lockdown – but they’ve taken off without a murmur

The least they could do is say goodbye. Just a head round the door and “see you in October”. But that’s not the redwing way. They slip off between visits without a murmur, leaving me scanning the trees for one last sighting. Rude.

These sharp little thrushes have been an antidote to this endless winter. Sometimes they’ve disguised themselves as a patch of grass before flurrying up away from me. Sometimes I’ve responded to a mysterious instinct and looked up just in time to see one dashing over my head – and where one dashes, others follow, fleet of wing, hurrying to be somewhere else. They’ve taunted me with their invisibility, the only clue to their presence a chorus of thin tseeps from the canopy. But now they’ve gone, and the new season is truly upon us.

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