The skies and electricity wires above Nairn are suddenly bereft of House Martins and Swallows; they’ve all been blown south by the horrendous autumnal wind and rain we’ve been experiencing. It’s always sad to see them go and take with them whatever hope we had of an Indian summer. But the Northerly winds are now assisting the geese on their journey to us for winter and they are fantastic visitors as they amass into great flocks of thousands, to fill the early morning and evening sky, and flood the fields around the town. And what about the noise! It really does help me cope with the winter blues!
In the next couple of weeks we should also be seeing the winter thrushes invading our fields and gardens. Keep your eye on the berries on the bushes and trees; they rely on these to keep them going over winter. And keep your ears open at night as the Redwings rush overhead with a whooshing sound and a distinctive call in the dark. Let me know when you hear them.
One final point: I haven’t heard the customary sound of Great Tits singing in September. Usually they reappear in the garden and in the dawn chorus around about early September; but nothing this year. The extreme winter last year seems to have taken its toll.