Hello folks. I am still walking the footpaths of Claxton twice a day and observing the local wildlife despite the lack of light at 6.30am. I have a new terrier friend – Gina – who lives at Staines Barn cottages, keeping watch over the north west boundaries of Claxton. We have a quick play if our morning walks coincide. If like us you are are up and about at that time look at the early morning sky as Venus is very bright in the South East and Jupiter in the West. The four moons of Jupiter are visible using tripod mounted binoculars. Jupiter is the third brightest object in the sky after the Moon and Venus so definitely worth a look.
The birds seem to be returning to the garden as the local blackbirds fly out of the shrubs waiting for the daily distribution of seeds, mealworms and dried fruit. Likewise the local squadron of starlings descend from the rooftop to join them. The numbers of starlings have fallen dramatically and there has been a national decline of 79% since 1979. So starlings need our help both with providing nesting sites and suitable habitat where they can feed. Helping them survive the winter by encouraging them into your garden will set them up for next year’s breeding season. Have you noticed any small flocks of the Scandinavian thrushes that migrate to the UK for the winter?
There were ~ 30 fieldfares feeding on the hawthorn berries in Peasecod Loke on the 2nd November. They are large attractive members of the thrush family whose chuckling calls are distinctive as they drift in loose flocks around our autumnal countryside seeking out berries and invertebrates. They will come to gardens to feed as they are particularly fond of windfall apples as they slowly decay and their sugars ferment. Fermented sugars remind me of next month and Christmas mulled wine and mince pies or if I am lucky some turkey leftovers!