The wonders of Autumn – October 2013

Indoors, I slowly unpack boxes, while outside the Tribe reacquaint themselves with our beautiful countryside. One day I am astonished to find our ‘Gerald Durrell’ gasping in wonder as a pair of magpies fly into the garden. She has forgotten what they are and the littlest, of course, has no memory of ever seeing such an exotic and striking bird! The magpies have been moulting recently and consequently not so conspicuous, but now they are back out and about, much to the delight of the Tribe, who are seeing them as if for the first time, with their iridescent feathers of greens, purples and blues. They will, no doubt, remember the magpie’s harsh cackle very quickly. We also see plenty of green woodpeckers digging their beaks into the field’s soft ground, to slurp up ants from their nests. The Tribe laugh with a mixture of horror and disgust, when I remind them that these birds have tongues nearly 4 inches long, to enable them to ‘drink’ up the ants. The final ‘exotic’ bird that has returned to our lives is the pheasant that appear to be rather plentiful at the moment, despite the shooting season being in full swing. The most they have to fear here are 3 cats and 4 rather boisterous and loud children (plus additional friends at various times), although come to think of it, that could drive any sane creature away. Continue reading The wonders of Autumn – October 2013