It certainly has been an unusual start to the season with the weather still in summer mode. Many of the autumn signs are there, and have been for some time; the changing of the leaves, the darkening of the evenings and the cooling of the mornings. Yet the days are warm and I’m still seeing the last few swallows and house martins around.
I went for another of my increasingly regular wanders around Wybunbury Moss a couple of days ago. The wood at the edge of the Moss was quiet, with most of the summer migrants gone, and it took a took a lot longer to notice a good handful of birds amongst the trees or flying over. There were roving mixed tit flocks passing from cover to cover, a sure sign that the breeding season is over, but I was also still seeing dragonflies over the open Moss – summer remains. The trees around the Moss are certainly changing colour; in fact one or two are almost bare already, while others seem to be in their high summer prime.
Wandering back to the open fields, I got a rarely seen view of a green woodpecker being chased by a sparrowhawk. I hear woodpeckers at the Moss quite regularly but they are usually great spotted. I hear the greens only a couple of times a year and probably only see one once a year. The woodpecker was yaffling away as is sprinted low across the Moss, while the hawk didn’t seem all that intent on catching its quarry, as it glided behind. I’ve had some nice sights at the Moss over the last year or so but its often the case that you have to spend a lot of time at a location to get that kind of glimpse of wildlife.
As dusk started to fall and I walked up the slope towards the church tower, out of the bowl-like depression in which the Moss sits, I could feel the temperature increasing; there had certainly been a nip in the air open fields. The bowl was acting as a sink, with the cooling air flowing downwards into the lower lying ground and what remained of the day’s warmth, was rising upwards with me.
Driving away, I got a glimpse of the sunset over Wybunbury, the church tower standing out in silhouette. The last of the sun’s rays were still warm but the air flowing in through the open car window was cooling by the minute.