This is one of my favourite days of the year – the day the crows decide to pick the rowan tree clean of its fat red berries. How they decide that this is the day when they will fly in enmasse, settle on the mountain ash (the rowan), squabble, pick and gobble, beat their patch with their oily black feathers, remains a mystery to me.
Why this day and not the next? How is it that I can look out at my rowan one morning, heavy and lovely with red and green, then suddenly it’s a macabre Christmas tree, with living black bird ornaments thrashing and squawking and stripping it bare?
There’s something going on in birdworld, a feather telegraph perhaps, about which I’d love to know.