As autumn turns to winter on patch.
13th Nov. With autumn changing to winter, but with blues skies and a mere breeze left of the gale force winds, I took a short walk on patch today. The muddy pathways were at least made more passable by the layer of now decaying leaves of various shades of brown. I did notice that despite the gales some leaves still managed to hold on. One large tree appears to have been up rooted by the winds and was already being carted away in the form of logs. Whilst the sky above remained blue, I noticed an ominous blanket of cloud building up from the west which seemed to indicate that the forecast for rain tomorrow was going to be correct.
I stayed around the area south of the village in the main and there was no more than the usual birdlife about, although I noted that the numbers of Common Gulls appear to be building up. There were plenty of berries, but only Blackbirds appeared to be taking advantage of them. I have generally found that the winter thrushes are late in arriving in this area. As I returned I heard the call of a raptor and on looking up found a male Sparrowhawk being chased of by a gull. It was a nice sighting, as it flew right across in front of me with the blue sky acting as a backdrop.
Having ‘waded’ through the monograph on Tundra Plovers and just finished it, I felt a bit of a change was required in my reading matter. I’ve just began a rather lighter book The Butterfly Isles/Patrick Barkham. Patrick sets out to see all of the British species of Butterfly in one year. He’d initially had his interest in butterflies turned on as a child when searching with his father for the Brown Argus Butterfly at Holme, Norfolk, and describes the small silvery insect flight perfectly. The initial few pages suggest that this will be a pleasant read. I like the North Norfolk coast and the pines and dune area at Holme in particular, so my interest was grabbed from the start. Once I’ve finished this I’ll be ready to take on another wader monograph. Dotterel I think.