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Rivers Heritage

Wild @ Rivers - October 2017

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Beech Hedge

The meadow is cut, all the grass collected and the birds are out taking advantage of the exposed bugs. Several Magpies in their striking black and white plumage are foraging in the short grass digging hard into the earth for tasty morsels. A Green Woodpecker joins them while the Jay seeks fallen acorns beneath the Oak trees to bury for its winter cache.


A dark shape flies quickly over the meadow and as the sun catches its wings it reveals the red and black markings of the Red Admiral Butterfly. This Butterfly is often seen at this time of year as it has a fondness for rotting fruit and visits orchards frequently. Above, a Kestrel is flying over but its attention is caught by movement below and it descends to settle on the telegraph wires to watch below. The sun glints off its plumage, highlighting beautiful chestnut coloured feathers and its bluish head with moustache stripe.

Lichen on Hawthorn

Another sunny autumn day and the Kestrel has returned to the orchard’s meadow but this time it is an unwelcome visitor. Circling in the sky the Kestrel is set upon by the larger Crow. Swooping low the Kestrel attempts to shake off its pursuer but the Crow dives and mobs the smaller bird. The Kestrel climbs and falls but the Crow has been joined by more and they mob the Kestrel, calling raucously as they drive the Kestrel from the meadow. As the Kestrel flies towards the tree line to avoid the noisy Crows its cries pierce the quietness of the meadow.

Silver Birch

The trees are late in losing their foliage this autumn but they are providing a colourful display of gold, yellow and green. Along the Beech hedge footpath the leaves crunch underfoot but many leaves are still retained by the trees, the golden leaves clinging to twisted and gnarled branches. Squirrels dart through these branches, a whisper of movement and a flash of grey bushy tail disappearing into a secret hideaway. Entering the scrub a solitary Roe Deer stands majestically at the path entrance, its senses alert for danger, frozen for a minute before the flight button is pushed and it disappears into the undergrowth. The only sound is from a passing Swan above the scrub, its wings creaking as it gracefully flies onto its destination. The Silver Birch waves gently in the breeze, its sinuous white limbs reaching to the sky shaking its small yellow leaves. The lichen encrusted Hawthorns bare their red fruits for the birds and the Bramble bushes still have unripened fruit adorning their red stems.

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