It’s that time of year again.

29 Sep
Autumn is upon us with a rush of changes underway. Numerous birds that were here for the summer, such as Chiffchaff‘s and Blackcaps, are on their way south (although a few may remain) while we should start to see the birds that migrate from Scandinavia starting to arrive. The commonest migrants in the winter are Redwings and Fieldfares. Basically these are similar to Song Thrushes but bigger and tend to congregate in flocks in fields – it’s not often you will see them on the village itself.
A Redwing is red under the wing and has a clear stripe across the eye while a Fieldfare is grey across it’s back with brown wings and a streaked chest. The name probably comes from an Anglo-Saxon word, which dates back to at least the the eleventh century, feldefare which means ‘traveler through the fields’. They are often together in quite large flocks.
With autumn in full flow there are so many foods available free in the hedgerows. While the Blackberries may be over its time to get out and have a look whats there – for some inspiration have a look at the web site – http://hedgerowharvest.org.uk/
This year has been great for butterflies with up to 14 species on the Cliff at any one time and, after last years really bad weather, it shows that nature can rebound if given a chance.
I have just got back from Botswana and, being lapsed Geologist, realised that the crocodiles you see there today are actually similar to creatures living around Sherston when the rocks were deposited. Around the village the underlying bedrock is Oolitic Limestone about 165 Million years old deposited during the Bathonian Stage of the Jurassic Period. The Jurassic is best known for the dinosaurs which were alive and well at the time so we could have had residents like the one in the picture. If you do happen to see one on the Cliff do let me know!
Crocodile. Chobe National Park, Botswana

Crocodile. Chobe National Park, Botswana

Finally – start thinking about feeding the wild birds. While there is more than enough food out in the countryside, when winter starts to arrive the birds do appreciate the peanuts, fat balls etc we provide.
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