Country diary: birds heard but not seen in this glowing glade

Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: The sounds of blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits were sharp and clear like the clinking of a bag of marbles

The glade filled with sunlight. It settled like physical stuff, a dusting of the inner circle and its enclosing trees with emerald snow. The green was made by sunlight on moss, on thorn branches, and across the flat ground with mossy stones and the first bristles of dog’s mercury pushing through. Outside the circle was a dark thicket of ash and hazel against an opal January sky. Much of the surrounding scrub had been downed by recent snow and gales. Last night a nameless storm came screaming as if the sky was being shoved through a letterbox. Today, shriven and clear, a new place was emerging from the wreckage.

Related: A time for dinky birds and winter-kings

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Source: The Guardian
Country diary: birds heard but not seen in this glowing glade