Tuesday, 24 September 2013

And a partridge in a pear tree

Gradually the landscape colours are changing as autumn approaches, and my own small garden is no exception.

Already the leaves of the small spindly Apple tree that is planted in a large pot, have turned a fabulous bright orange. Just a few feet away is my favourite foliage in the garden during autumn, the Hawthorn. The leaves go through a rainbow of colours until they reach a bright fiery red.

Across from the Hawthorn is a Rowan, covered in red berries, its leaves only just starting to turn. The largest object in the garden is the Silver Birch, now a staggering 30 feet tall. Only a few of its leaves have started to show the signs of change, turning a pale yellow. Eventually it will look like a blazing beacon from afar once its tiny leaves have taken on a wild mix of yellow, orange and red.

But the most noticeable sign of autumn on the way is the arrival of a seasonal visitor. Recognisable by it's distinctive song, and loud for its small size, the Robin arrived last Friday (photo courtesy of Pauline). Perched among the dense foliage of the birch it announced its arrival all afternoon. The Robin seems to be far more tame than the rest of the birds that visit, unphased by my presence.

The all year round visitor to the garden, the Sparrow, have recently grown in number to more than 20. Their song becomes a natural alarm call as they collectively chirp away at first light, eating their way through a whole feeder of seed and three small bags of peanuts a day.

The Rowan provides natural food for many of the birds too, and last week I laughed out loud as 11 starlings all noisily pecked away at the berries as they tried to balance on the top most branches with varying degrees of success in the wind.

Over the years I've regularly seen two Collared Doves feeding on the floor of the garden, but to my surprise two weeks ago I saw six, four of which looked smaller and scruffy, so I can only assume the original two have successfully bred nearby.

With the Sparrows providing the loudest dawn chorus, to the bird that provides my favourite, cheerful song at the end of the day and continues to use my garden as a safe refuge. The Blackbird.

Over the past few years I've seen a huge variety of birds, and on one winters day a couple of years ago I counted 18 different species of bird in one day.

No Partridge though. I don't have  a Pear Tree in the garden.

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