Autumn is well and truly here and with it it hasn’t bought cold crisp days, mist and autumn colours but plenty of rain and wind at times; the Stour after being low for a few months is now running swift and high. Most of the walks I go on are muddy now, but it’s what I expect. Of course the days are shorter and I get up in the dark and set out for my early morning walk well before dawn. It has it’s bonuses, I’ve seen Bats and heard Tawny Owls calling in the old Oak trees around the village. I’ve spotted a Fox on it’s early morning patrol and deer close at hand. There are other sounds, a Green Woodpecker calling and a Buzzard flying somewhere above us.

There has been the occasional colourful sunrise but they are few and far between. The leaves on the trees are slowly changing into their autumn colours, last year we didn’t get them until late October into November so it’s something to look forward to!

Dawn over Hambledon Hill from Manor field
Dawn over Hambledon Hill from Manor field
Just before sunrise near Ridgeway Lane
Just before sunrise near Ridgeway Lane

At Dovecote Farm one morning I noticed the Peacocks in the field and was surprised to see two small peacock chicks, it seems quite late for them to be around, nice to see them.

Peahen with chick
Peahen with chick

The birds in the garden are active our resident Sparrows are still very busy and noisy and when I feed in the morning we are getting quite a few Starlings coming in they are a bit of a pain as they swoop in and clear much of the food, although I have floor cages the smaller ones still get through! The Bluetits are about again and a couple of Blackbirds although there are not many about at the moment. Of course we have some resident Robins and they have been supervising the autumn garden clearance! We spotted a Chiffchaff on a Fennel plant a few days ago, he was eating the Greenfly, it was a pleasant surprise to have this little visitor. We are still seeing Swallows and Martins passing through, it’s now the 9th October. I’m sure someday very soon there will be none and then we can only look forward the their return.

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff

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