Birds and blackberries

Summer, such as it has been, seems to have flown by. Now the tractors are up and down the lane from dawn till dark, carrying loads of straw and potatoes. Already the fields are being prepared for next year's harvest. 

We cycled out spontaneously one morning, when the sun made a joyful appearance, and headed over to Venus Pool to see what was going on in the bird community.

Quite a lot, as it happened. We settled in one of the waterside hides. 

The geese were gathering in numbers - flocks of them have been flying over the cottage regularly, heralding the end of summer with their haunting cries. There were the usual Canadian Geese and a crowd of Grey Geese. Keeping their distance, faraway, were three pairs of Cormorants. A dignified Grey Heron mingled in a rather aloof fashion.

I told Joe how Andy always referred to these birds  as 'grey greasy fishermen', from the way they seem to slink and slide as they are hunting or flying.

There was one unexpected visitor, a Little White Egret.


Such a pretty thing, delicately picking its way past the waddling, guzzling geese.

 It's on the amber list of birds, so this was a good 'spot'.

We headed over to the little woodland hide, where numerous bird feeders attract the smaller birds. Nothing unusual here (though I did once watch a rat squabbling with a pair of ducks). The birds do very well here, with plenty of peanuts provided for the Great Tits and suchlike.

One last glance at Venus Pool, with the Wrekin looming in the background, before heading home to beat the incoming rain.  

 Autumn is definitely on its way.

 Joe spotted an old wasp nest in a muddy bank - I have to admit I walked right past it, thinking it was a disintegrating plastic bag.

Exquisite constructions; delicate paper palaces which will gradually dissipate over the season, leaving nothing but a few tiny, desiccated corpses. 

We picked blackberries on the way home; our summer has been somewhat mixed and fruit in general is not great this year.

 But we foraged enough for a crumble.

True to form, the British summer closed in and as we arrived home, the rain was tumbling in from Wales. This was the view from the garden...before taking cover.

After a good morning of wandering, and with calories to replace, there was home made trifle for lunch. This baby had my own lemon drizzle cake lining the bottom - which gives it a nice zingy cut though the sweetness of cream, jelly and custard. And, of course, hundreds and thousands.


Julia Kelly said...

Wow, thanks for the view... Fall is coming here too, in SW Colorado

Jess said...

Now you tell me that trifle has homemade lemon drizzle cake at the bottom, how heavenly!
It looks like a lovely day out in nature, I don't see egrets very often, they're lovely aren't they?
Have a lovely weekend Gretel!xx

Frances said...

Gretel, just having a biking destination called Venus Pond sounds pretty good to me. Seeing these photographs of the beautiful birds you and Joe saw there tells me that you all might want to return for another visit during autumn migration time.

Bliss...not just to be found in seeing those birds, but also in gathering berries from the hedges...and knowing how to make good use of those berries. Lemon drizzle as a trifle base really made me look twice at the ripe peaches and cream I was enjoying after tonight's pasta supper.

Lots of love to you all. xo

Julie M said...

Beautiful autumnal pictures, Gretel. I haven't noticed ripe blackberries here yet (Dublin), must take a drive up the mountains to see.

Charlotte said...

Good to take a day out with you both. Is that a boat in the hedge behind Joe? Rather taken with the idea of gently sculling along a hedgerow, filling a boat with foraged provender.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos of the birds ...... and your trifle looks delicious!!

Granny Sue said...

Lemon drizzle cake? sounds delicious!