Everywhere I looked, I could see crows. Perched on fences and phone lines, strutting on grass verges and glaring down from three branches. There was a moment’s silence and then they all took flight, all at once.
A flurry of wing beats and in that peculiarly fluid twist and turn of flocking birds there suddenly came a purpose cycling and converging on one spot immediately in front of us. The wind of their passage past us tugged at clothing and hair – making us flinch as the dark feathered forms flew past us and into each other – and without warning suddenly being subsumed into a humanoid mass that in an eye-blink became an old man standing on the deserted pavement; dressed in a long dark coat, he watched with curiously bright eyes to see how we would react.