Autumn colours

As autumn lingers the field is gradually slowing down in preparation for the winter ahead.

The swallows are long gone and the bats no longer flitter across the pond at dusk but the fieldfares have arrived to spend the winter here and there are plenty of haws in the hawthorn hedgerows to eat. The goldfinches should do well with lots of common knapweed seed heads to feed on during the cold winter days.

The bulrush around the pond edge has turned yellow but the roach are still active, feeding on insects on the surface before heading down to the depths out of the way of any predators.

Though there are no barn owls in the nest boxes at the moment they are around, appearing in the torchlight at night, their silent flight interrupted by loud screeching if you get too close.

There’s work to be done still: owl boxes to fix, pruning and cutting of branches but the main hedges will be left alone until there are no more berries to be had by hungry birds.

The first frosts should have stopped any growth in the meadow but there’s the occasional late knapweed flower or even an oxeye daisy around the edges that thinks it’s still summer: small dashes of colour in the late autumn sun.