More ramblings, naturally…
So summer treads wearily towards autumnal slumber as the nights slowly lengthen again. There’s heather down the moor (I know her well!) – according to the locals it’s flowering better than they can remember. It is as if nature has taken a dry brush loaded with purple and dragged it over the rough-toothed landscape, leaving a trail of gloriously subtle colour.
The swallows in the woodshed fledged successfully and have been wheeling around the house since. I had a pleasant surprise the other evening on my nocturnal rambling around the property looking for an absent cat. I shone the torch in the woodshed and a couple of bleary-eyed swallows stared back at me, so it seems some of them are still coming back in the evening to roost. As did Piano, the absent cat (eventually).
The list of Byre Birds has been added to. The summer additions are Blue tit, Bullfinch, Cuckoo, Dunnock, Grey Wagtail, Redpoll, Reed bunting, Sedge warbler, Song Thrush, Whinchat. The Dunnock was obviously an oversight on the last list, and I did actually see a cuckoo before they went south again – there was one calling from the telegraph pole outside. There has been a definite change in birds visiting the feeder and generally around the garden with this year’s fledglings. We finally had some blue tits show up (there are loads around our neighbours up the township road, but they have their own woodland), and you can’t move for robins at the moment, although that will change when their red plumage starts to show.
Yesterday we had a special visitor. Just after lunch I looked out the window. and there was a female sparrowhawk on the back lawn, plucking a pigeon (the females are much larger than the males, which could never take on a pigeon!). Needless to say, while I was grabbing my camera it disappeared into the bushes, taking the pigeon with it. When I went out there was a large pile of feathers and a head on the lawn, and a sudden clattering in the bushes as the sparrowhawk flew off. The cats investigated the carcass – Piano pawed at it but lost interest when it didn’t move. But an hour later it was gone, so I assume the hawk came back and moved it while my back was turned.
I don’t know why, but there seem to be a lot more highland cattle visible at the moment – maybe they’ve just been moved closer to the roads I frequent; maybe it’s a seasonal thing and we just haven’t been here long enough to know. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to take some photographs of them, so it’s given me some good opportunities…
Currently listening to: Shleep– Robert Wyatt.