After the long trek to Cornwall on Friday, I spent the next couple of days recuperating.
I carried on working in the garden ,but rather less strenuous than of late. This meant getting the last of the autumn planting in-a nice Hydrangea aspera which has replaced a rather large but tatty and not very manageable purple leaved Elder. I had misgivings about taking the Elder out, as the birds like it, but it is a martyr to greenfly, and because it is by the steps to the gate, the honeydew is a problem, and the unruly leggy growth gets in the way. The hydrangea seems to be a very good late summer bee plant and the cover provided should be useful. Ive also put in a climbing rose beside it, to grow over the shed and up the Rowan-not sure what it is as Sarah found it growing wild by the river Lee some years ago. Its rather larger than anticipated and had to move it from the path side fence as it was getting in the way. Other than that, its been a gradual preparation for the colder weather, which from the forecast is likely to be next weekend. Not looking forward to it with the huge quantity of tender and half hardy plants I have to deal with.
In the meantime it has still been warm and sunny during the daytime. I had Skylarks going over the garden every day, and also had a couple of Fieldfares and Redwings as well, so despite the fairly still conditions, birds are moving.
On Sunday I had a stroll round Aston End with the intention of getting some scenic photos. Luckily I left fairly early and there was still a bit of mist in the air which produced one or two worthwhile images.
By the time I hit Aston End, it had cleared though remained damp underfoot and the dew remained in places all morning. The dogwoods, maples and viburnums were colouring up nicely and it seems to be a good berry year as well, though a lot of the spindles are a rather pale pink rather than the more appealing red.
The fields are largely planted now-brassicas are popular this year. There are a lot more Meadow Pipits and Skylarks than last month, but I had a hard time finding much else. Two Chiffchaffs and a few Yellowhammer, Chaffinch and Greenfinch seemed to be the best that I could manage. A couple of gull flocks went through, one consisting of about a dozen Lesser Black Backs went north, and a small flock of Black Headed and Common Gulls were wheeling around over the ford before drifting west. Best birds were probably the 22 Fieldfares along the river near Lords Farm. Could be the first of the usual wintering birds, but they might just be passing through.
I tried to get a few scenic shots while in Cornwall, but the lighting wasn't great. This shot of the tin mine at Ballowal Down worked best as a B&W image with some grain and contrast, a bit reminiscent of the old Tri X film. Might need to tinker with it a bit more.