Getting tucked up for winter….

24 Sep

The last vestiges of the summer have almost departed – there are still some small flocks of House Martins and Swallows to be seen around the village. These are off to much sunnier climes in West Africa where there will be lots more to eat although the migration across the Sahara and Sahel will take it toll on the young birds, some of whom have only just left the nest.

Our insects are also getting ready with some species of butterfly and ladybird finding their way into sheds and garages to over winter as an adult although large numbers of butterfly’s migrate to Spain and North Africa (how does such a small animal manage that!!)

Soon our winter thrushes will return from Northern Europe and Iceland along with large numbers of Blackbirds, Robins and Chaffinches. The Redwings and Fieldfares gather in small flocks in trees and fields around the village and are typically quite wary of people and migrate at night. If you stand outside at night in October you may hear flocks flying over with them making a contact call to one another.

We should start to get more Little Egrets arriving for the winter. The Little Egret can be identified from other Egrets (all of which are all white) as it has a black bill and yellow feet. There have been reports of Great White Egrets being seen around Sherston – this is the size of a Heron with a yellow bill and black feet and an extra kink in its neck.


Conkers are dropping and the Virginia Creeper is losing it’s bright red leaves so it’s time too think about getting the bird feeders out if you haven’t already. If you have peanuts and fat balls left over from last year it may be better too replace them as they do go stale.

Wash your bird feeders and water bowls every week or so with hot soapy water as there are some really nasty fungal diseases which spread from bird to bird and may cause fatalities especially with Greenfinches and Chaffinches.

There are still bats flying at dusk and a few House Martins left – but not for long!! Get the supplies of logs and oil in!!


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