Monday, September 24, 2012

Feathered seasons

rookThe school playing field across the road from Railway Cuttings are as good an indicator of the season than many. Better, indeed, than the flowers in the local gardens (we've primroses, roses and magnolias in bloom currently). The wood pigeons are there throughout the year, I'm astonished they find enough to get by with (there's obviously enough for forty-odd of them to have littered the grass over the weekend). Black-headed gulls, starlings, rooks and goldfinches are also year-round habitu├ęs. I don't know where the mistlethrushes have disappeared to, I hope they've not been got at by something.

Autumn starts in August when the common gulls come back. They've generally made themselves scarce by the end of April, though there's generally one or two lurking about in the crowds. By mid-November they outnumber the black-headed gulls. Completing the set is the odd one or two lesser black-backs. Their arrival foretold the start of the school holidays, they'll drift off at Easter. I'm never sure why it's only ever one or two lesser black-backs; it's never three or more.

We only recently started getting jackdaws round our way. I've no idea where they're nesting but the feverish activity over the summer suggests they had plenty of mouths to feed. They move away from the field this time of year, moving on instead to the school playground and the local car parks with the pied wagtails.

Soon we'll know we're in for it: the meadow pipits will turn up and we'll have to get out the big quilts. Hey ho, soon be Christmas.


dinahmow said...

Jackdaws nest in chimneys,sometimes, don't they?

Gadjo Dilo said...

I've never (knowingly) seen a Jackdaw - nice. I saw what must have been an Eagle Owl on holiday this year - is was HUGE!

Nota Bene said...

I was so excited to find out that the birds in our garden were jackdaws as I'd not consciously seen one before..but having checked on the RSPB website they were referred to as 'common'...I don't think they meant common like plebs either

Kevin Musgrove said...

dinahmow: This is part of the puzzle. We've all had chimbley cowls fitted to stop starling falling down the flue.

Gadjo: ~ wave of envy ~

Nota Bene: they have a Dickensian urchin air about them, and good on 'em for it!