Birdwatching; weather signs from birds; quotation from Burns.
John Hewit talks about how the changes of the seasons are marked by changes in the cry of the crow, and describes the morning gathering of carrion crows, or huidies. He talks about his great pleasure in the dawn chorus, and in birdwatching.
He has not heard of the belief that it is unlucky to hear the cuckoo on an empty stomach. Before a storm the crows are seen feeding. If there is going to be a storm from the south or west, the geese on the Solway move eastwards. Mention of other winter migrants, including the bramblie or bramble finch. There are no ravens locally, and Mr Hewit has no comment on whether they are unlucky. Magpies are uncommon locally as they are persecuted by gamekeepers. The paitricks or partridges always remind Mr Hewit of Burns' lines: "While briers an' woodbines budding green, / An' paitricks craikin loud at e'en ..."
Mr Hewit slightly misquotes the opening lines of Robert Burns' 'Epistle To J. Lapraik, An Old Scotch Bard', substituting 'craikin' for 'scraichin'.