The air was calm on the moors of Scotland. The grass barely swayed under the cold breeze that blew across it; the frost last night was heavy and the day had not entirely warmed to thaw it out. Over the next few days it would die slowly, the final traces of autumn gone with it.
A crow sat atop a gnarled tree overlooking a particularly bleak stretch of moor, surveying the countryside and the rolling steel-clad clouds overhead. The hilly landscape stretched out before it, and it took note of the hills beyond its domain. Prey was growing scarce too early this autumn. It realised it would have to branch further than yesterday, into unknown territory.
Blinking blearily into the morning light the crow spread its wings and took flight, pin wheeling on a feeble updraft, spiralling higher until it had enough lift to glide over the adjacent hills. The ground passed by, and the crow watched, wary of any slight movements that may signal carrion or a small vermin of some sort. It wasn't a strong bir