The robins are definitely back singing again, but they sound a little thinner and sadder now we’re on the cusp of autumn. The best thing is that they won’t stop again till next summer. Pop your head outside even on the harshest winter day and you’re likely to hear that silvery voice.
There were chiffchaffs singing on the wooded stretch today too. Not at full spring volume, but occasionally one would have a fit of inspiration and project its voice right up into the top of the ash trees. That’s where I imagine them sitting in spring and summer, a perky greek chorus keeping up a running commentary on the woodland below.
There were a pair of buzzards wheeling and calling near Cotterstock lock. Then rooks near the hall, and a single wren at the start of the trees. I ducked in at the first path and found what is probably a perch used by a tawny owl. The branch looks a little small, and only about 10 feet off the ground, but there is a lot of guano and some pellets just below it. I found a largish tawny feather there about a week ago and there were smaller, fluffier ones lodged on some of the branches nearby. Might be worth a stealthy evening visit sometime soon.
As I neared the other end of the wood I cut down towards the river again. Much of the path in between is a mass of nettles and brambles. But as the ground gets closer to river level it’s wetter underfoot and easier to get through. There are still nettles aplenty, but the Himalayan Balsam appears to be upstaging them. Not good for the local ecology maybe, but as a walker I’ve got no complaints about that!
Just as I get to the river a kingfisher leaves a perch somewhere in the overhanging willows. I can’t see it, but one of the calls sounds to only be about 10 feet away as it passes. I hear a couple in a canoe downstream exclaiming as it flies on past them. A lovely day to be on and near the river.