Sunday, 20 September 2015

Autumn Stone

A glorious weekend, autumnal sun, a glimpse of the Indian summer.  I would have loved it if Welney's Wryneck of Friday had been forthcoming or that Burwell's Grey Phalarope had stayed another day however their absence took little from the simple pleasures of early autumn at its best. 

Out on the Summerlands duck numbers are building on the few wet pools.  Ruff pick between cryptically plumaged Teal and sleepy Greylag.  A young Hobby shoots through and Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Buzzards and Marsh Harriers dot the skies in every direction lifting on columns of spiralling air. 

A Tree Sparrow visited the feeders as I searched for the Wryneck, the first I've seen at this end of the Washes for many months and a raspberry dappled Redpoll rested in an Alder. 

It was in the garden though that I was able to get as heady as a wasp bingeing on fermenting apples.

The Blackcaps that have frequented the berry laden hawthorns have become bold and their numbers swollen. Six bathed together in the pond, balancing on lily pads and three more looked on.  Chiffchaffs abound throughout the hedgerows and bramble tangles with the air above alive with Starlings hawking flying ants, in all ways akin to a flock of Beeaters high in Mediterranean skies.  A freshly emerged Comma, incandescent, unfurls in the sun but flies before I can pin it with pixels.  A Red Admiral allows close approach along the roadside, fine art in macro.

As hirundines flock southwards Migrant Hawkers are amassing on their northward journey, patrolling field edge and wayside, twisting along every interface where branch presses sky, resting occasionally above the warming buzz of crickets.
To enjoy these moments now, before the cold breeze burns the vermillion, claret, lime and custard from the Sycamores, that will be my aim.  I know my mind will drift and the coast will call, to the tune of Siberian vagrants. The wetlands will host some trans-Atlantic wanderer and I will follow almost blindly. To remember to indulge myself in a morning walk across my closest homelands that will be the best way to feel the season ebb it's way towards the inevitability of winter.

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