Monday, November 06, 2006

Wentwood Autumn

There is something about a woodland on a sunny autumn day. I hadn't been to Wentwood for a couple of years, but the beautiful weather last weekend and the news that redpolls were around in high numbers made it my choice for a morning walk.

As the sun burnt off the frost, the beeches and oaks were backlit to perfection. An imperceptible breeze caused silken strands, now spiderless, to drift across the paths. All along the way Red Admiral butterflies danced between the trees, or lay down and soaked up the warming rays.

I couldn't believe the numbers of them, but the reason soon became clear-

the tree trunks were lagged in ivy and it was alive! In a few minutes I saw a dozen or more flies, wasps and othe insects feasting on the ivy flowers. I have't bothered trying to put names to them, but a selection are shown below.

The birds were there, but no decent snapshots. The goldcrests were too small, quick and far away. The marsh tit flew too near, scolded me and then shot away again. The goshawk and bullfinch showed too fleetingly in full flight, the jays were too nervous, and I didn't actually pick out a redpoll in amongst the flocks of finches and tits. But what the hell - mornings like that don't come along too often!

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