As summer draws to a close and gives way to autumn so birds take to the wing. Summer visitors leave for warmer countries; and those from the north fly in to our more temperate shores. The young of resident species disperse to find territories of their own. In early October I heard a Tawny Owl calling from the Wood, most likely a dispersing adolescent.
In October the British Trust for Ornithology reported large numbers of Goldcrest arriving, with Scandinavian thrushes already here: I saw a small party of Redwing in the Village School playground in mid-October. The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust reported the unseasonably early arrival of large numbers of arctic-nesting Bewick’s Swan. All these winter visitors are, perhaps, harbingers of a long, cold season to come:
Who hath chased the birds so gay
Lark and linnet, all away
Who hath hushed their joyous breath,
And made the woodlands still as death?