November 10, 2017

Storm Brian


Woodland birds are few at this time, but the estuaries are vibrant with sightings and sounds.  The sight and sound of large numbers of geese passing overhead every morning is what makes the  long grey wet days of October and November bearable.   There has been  a large influx of Pink Footed Geese sighted around the estuaries,  substantially more than last year.  Their calls are noticebly different from Canada Geese, more chatty than honking and higher pitched.  In the grey skies it is impossible to tell the difference by sight alone as they all look the same.

Well storm Brian has passed and for the Wirral it was much more vigorious than Storm Doris. (I would love to have one named after me  ) one violent night and at least half the trees lost their leaves.  The Beeches outside the coffee shop still have some golden embers left. which on a warm sunny day tinkle with the sound of a jubilent flock of mixed finches, goldfinch, chaffinch and maybe this year a rare hawfinch,  non of which I can see and if it were not for the traffic I would record.  Strangely birds love singing where it is noisy.  The middle of a wood can be completely silent, but the  end nearest human habitat alive with sound.

Now is a good time for finding lichen and fungi at its best in the low light.

This weekend I attended an all day free adult education class on 'raptors' at the World Museum in Liverpool.  They run many such courses on different nature interests but their website is so weird that it is difficult to find them.  Usually it is by word of mouth, but the link is provided below incase like me  many of you give up looking for it.  Most of the course was based around studying an old  collection of stuffed birds which to me was distressing, but it did allow close study.  Interestingly most of the specimens seemed much smaller than you see in  the wild now.

On a recent visit to Dibbinsdale ancient woodland I was given a gift of the  perfect autumn spectacle of angled  dabbled light through golden leaves.  This day was the fourth attempt to visit and turned out to be the blessed one for photograhy.

My home birds are  back in the garden  checking out new perches made from pruned virginia creeper trunks and revamped feeder stations.  Hicaw my chatty Jackdaw is back and the Blue Tits are checking out the old nestbox for the winter.