One morning this last week I stepped outside at first light. It was very still and quiet. My attention was drawn to the sound of redwings overhead. The first I’ve seen this autumn. Just a few small flocks but a sure sign of the turning of the seasons. Later on the same day I saw a handful of swallows. Another remnant of summer. Two species who’s combined migratory range extends from Siberia to South Africa.

It’s strange how a sight or sound can be so evocative of a particular season that in a single day two separate moments can feel like completely different times of year.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that part of the reason I will listen to so many podcasts is so I don’t have to listen to the stream of negative horseshit that my mind seems to produce if left to its own devices. Something to work on there, methinks.

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In the last two days I’ve seen and/or heard kingfishers in two different locations. They do seem to get very vocal at this time of year. Not sure why. Such an amazing bird.

Was awake in the night due to the heat. Heard a curious sound outside. A repeated wheezing call. A bit of research and discovered it was the begging call of juvenile tawny owls. I think there must have been two of them. Good to know ‘our’ tawny’s have successfully reared young this year.

A family walk this morning. Took a trip out to the Somerset Levels, now that we are allowed to travel a bit more.

Lots of birds – but no cuckoos. Swifts, sedge warblers, curlews, reed buntings, skylarks, egrets and swans.

Meadows looking lovely. Lots of flowers including orchids (Southern Marsh?).

 

Drama in the garden when we returned. Birds giving alarm calls – turned out a great spotted woodpecker was having a crack at the box where the great tits are nesting.

It hammered a hole in the underside and get at the young chicks – grisly. Think it got one and killed a second.

Managed to effect a temporary repair using a flattened baked bean tin and wire. Hopefully it will hold out enough to keep the woodpecker off. Later saw one of the adult great tits hauling the remains of a dead chick out. Am hoping the remaining two will survive.