Friday, 29 October 2010

Watching the Autumn Garden

(click on photos for larger image)

Autumn arrives with a blanket of dew and flurry of activity from birds and squirrels as the boundary between nearby woodland and the garden blur. Misty mornings leave the cobwebs bejewelled, illuminated like garden chandeliers as the sun slowly rises over the trees. The spiders and their cobwebs now replace the industrious activity of the summer bees in the lavender.

Autumn is when a lot of the larger woodland birds are more visible in the garden; jays, magpies, wood pigeons, collared doves, green and great spotted woodpeckers. In the last high blue skies of the year, house martins and swallows swoop before following the earlier swifts south for winter.

One of the funniest seasonal spectacles to watch is the pantomime performed by the jays and squirrels. As the jay briskly stashes his horde of chestnuts in flowerpots and box hedges, the squirrel scampers up afterwards, digging them up and stealing them. No matter how often you tell the jay 'He's behind you!', he still falls for it every time.

(spot the woodpecker)

If you're quick, you'll notice a flick and a dart, a hop and a bob as the wren marks out his territory while the robin takes up guarding the bird feeders, although the long-tailed tits are now long gone.
The winds turn northerly and the leaves start to turn, a few more weeks and then Autumn's shawl of golds, reds and browns will slip to the ground and bare trees and cold winds will start to shape the winter bones of the garden.

RSPB Feed the Birds day is on Saturday 30th October.