Sitting here typing this missive on a grey dull September morning, I'm reflecting on what are the indicators of Autumn starting?
OK - it's been slightly cooler in the mornings these last couple of days. There are a few yellowing and falling leaves but nothing significant yet. Apart from "that ghastly misty and wet Saturday" a while ago, there haven't been any of the Autumnal morning mists - yet!
It's normally the birds visiting my garden that herald the change in season, and this year is no different. The little party of Long-tailed Tits have now moved on having spent their summer holidays at the feeders. The male Chaffinches are starting to show their full colours. The contents of the feeders are going down more quickly in the last few days.
On Wednesday evening I did observe something I've not seen here before. I became aware (at about 19.30) of louder than usual Ring-necked Parakeet noise. It is usual practice for a few to come onto the feeders prior to going to roost, but this was different.
A couple of houses away, on one of the many old and tall Oak Trees, I discovered the cause. Small flocks of RNPs were gathering in the oak trees - I managed to count 40 and suspect there were more hidden amongst the leaves.
I was pretty certain they wouldn't be roosting there as the trees were not tall enough (the seem to prefer London Plane trees), and over the next several minutes they flew off in smaller groups. I'm wondering if they're back at the roost (Esher Rugby Club) they deserted in October of 2007. Thinks a visit is called for soon.
And this morning at about 7.30 the bird numbers in the garden were up significantly.
All at the same time I had:
16 Ring-necked Parakeets (up in the Eucalyptus)
3 Feral Pigeons (only 3 - whey hey)
2 Great Tits
2 Blue Tits
2 Greenfinches (having been getting up to 17 over the last few days)
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Juv)
1 Chaffinch (Male
The squirrel came bounding along (as only squirrels can) so most of the smaller birds flew up into the tree. The next visitor was a Coal Tit (I love coal tits) and then ... the drama - all the birds scattered as a female Sparrowhawk swept through the garden chasing a Feral Pigeon - which got away. For several minutes afterwards, the sky was full of birds all flying in different directions; finally the RNPs and Pigeons were circling the garden waiting for it to be safe to land.
This is always such a spectacular sight!
Just a few pics today - all taken earlier in the year; I think I need to hold onto the vision of blue skies and sunshine.
Post publishing comment:
I'd just published this and looking out of the lounge window - a young fox had come into the garden. It was stalking a Pigeon but, the minute the pigeon flapped its wings to take flight, the young fox turned and ran - so funny!
It's all happening this morning!
The Week in Photos October
11 hours ago