© 2014 by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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The perfect time for beginners

As I’m walking along I see not a lot of wildlife really. A grey squirrel runs in front of me, there’s a man sitting in front of the pond having a can of strong lager even though it’s only 12 (so even though he doesn’t count as wildlife he certainly looks as if he’s settling in for a wild old day if he carries on like that). Oh, and some dogs are jumping in and out of a very large, very muddy puddle indeed, watched by their owners, who don’t seem to know whether to laugh or cry. But as I’m walking along, it occurs to me that actually now is a really good time to start nature watching. This might initially seem counter-intuitive, given that a lot of things are disappearing at the moment. But a

Honk if you want to migrate!

The noise was incredible - and distinctive. A clamouring, honking call repeated again and again by a large group. I knew immediately what it was, and rushed from the cover of trees I had been walking under, looking skyward the whole time. I had to see this sight, the first of this new season! Finally I broke free...and there they were. Canada Geese flew just above treetop level, in their well-known V-shaped formation. They called to one another the whole time, creating a sound that dominated everything else. Istood still, staring up at them, eyes shining at the sight as they grew smaller and smaller and finally disappeared. That migration truly is one of THE sights of autumn. #canadageese

What a difference a day makes

Well, it’s a good job I bought my new waterproofs, because today it’s chucking it down. But I am well protected in my Barbour hat, Rydale coat, and Scarpa boots – unlike the wildlife, which has all taken cover. The only thing accompanying me as I walk is Scamp by my side, and the steady patter of rain on my head. Even the glorious crocuses are looking a bit sad today because they have been pounded all through the night and this morning. They are drooping with the weight of the pummelling and, while normally they are opened up to welcome the sunshine, today they are all closed up. It’s all in sharp contrast to yesterday afternoon, when I had the most wonderful late afternoon and early evening