August 7, 2017

So silent is the silence

Visiting the woodland  project  this morning on what what I initially thought was going to be a dark and dank day turned out to be one of gentle breezes and dappled sunlight.  The light is alwYs a challenge in dense woodland in the summer as the foliage is so busy with variation and the light minimal.  All this even using a good  digital camera is challengjng.  instead of striding through looking for obvious changes since my last visit I spent a very pleasant half hour studying the light  and silence.  At one point there was an eerie silence but as I became attuned to the woodland I heard a gentle ' soughing' in the canopy of leaves rustling in the gentle breeze.  The air and ground were damp and the stream was flowing slowly over the pebbles.  In the background there erupted a short song from a wren this the followed by a woodpigeon.  You are carefully watched when entering into the wood, but if you progress very slowly and stop at intervals the wood appears to accept you and normal life continues. On leaving the wood, for the first time here I heard the unmistakeble boom of a stock dove.

The Swifts have gone  with the flying ants and greenfinches  and soon the House Martins Goldfinches and Swallows will follow.   The ether will be totally silent until the moult is over and winter visitors start to arrive. What birds sounds are around tend to be juvenile calls and these are extremely difficult to identify without seeing the bird that is making it.

But sitting in the garden it becomes apparent that there are still plenty of birds around from raggy looking adult jackdaws, blackbirds, robins and pigeons in amongst spotty brown juveniles that have not yet acquired their full colours.  Juveniles are very inquisitive and can venture quite close to check you out.   Teenage Jackdaws are racketing around the neighbourhood shouting down chimneys and tossing moss off the roof,  like you do when a teenager trying to get noticed.

                                       Signs of Autumn are already  starting to appear.