Wild @ Rivers - November 2016

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Beech Hedge

Early morning mists and fogs herald the start of November followed by warm sunshine during the day, but gradually the air becomes colder and winter feels closer. Signs of autumn hanging on are visible where the golden leaves still cling to the trees and Dandelion clocks are still forming from the late flowering plants. Walking along the Beech hedgerow the copper coloured leaves and Beech nut cases crunch underfoot. Entering the orchard’s meadow the Green Woodpecker flies silently over. Cold winds blast from the north and the air is chilling after the late autumn warmth.


Inside the orchard the enclosed hedge offers a degree or two of warmth compared to the surrounding meadow and a Jay is foraging amongst the fruit trees, his brightly coloured plumage visible among the dull trees. The warmth and damp of the last few weeks has encouraged several Fungi to grow on decaying branches and in the grass. At the meadow’s entrance an incessant cackling and cawing can be heard from Magpies and Crows. The two species of birds bounce energetically through the trees calling constantly until they drive a Buzzard from its perch into the air. As the Buzzard climbs it gives a magnificent display of large outstretched wings powerfully beating the air but it has not escaped its harridans - they pursue it mobbing and calling. The Buzzard swerves and climbs higher and eventually the mobsters fall away.

Linden Tree

In the scrub Long-tailed Tits are busily flitting through the Silver Birch trees’ dormant catkins searching for sheltering insects. These small birds chatter incessantly to each other as they forage. A Jay is busy under the Hawthorn and disturbs the Green Woodpecker which flies off with a disgruntled call. Amongst the leaf litter a Song Thrush is tossing aside fallen leaves in the hope of finding a Brown Lipped Snail to shatter against its favourite stone to reach the Mollusc’s soft body.

Hawthorn Berries

Raindrops cling to the branches of the Hawthorn Berries, twinkling with a multitude of rainbow colours in the fading sunlight. On the bare Wild Rose there are the signs that Gall Wasps have been busy earlier in the year leaving the strange red straggly shape called a Robin’s Pincushion. Looking back to the scrub as the light fades the Linden tree is silhouetted against a striking sky.

Bracket Fungus

Dandelion Clock

Robin's Pincushion

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