Monday, 10 October 2016

It's Getting Colder

Well the weather remains very dry here and looks set to remain so for a while yet but one thing that is changing is the temperature, it has taken a noticeable move downwards. North Easterlies have set in and freshening winds are bringing in the cold from Scandinavia and Poland. On the marsh early today, under the customary clear blue skies it was cold enough to need the winter coat and jumper and my fleece lined winter trousers will be next to be worn. However once the sun began to climb in the sky it turned a fair bit warmer, it was a pleasant walk round. Now, as I sit in my study mid-afternoon and looking across the Thames Estuary to the distant Essex shore, heavy grey clouds are starting to flood across the sky in the moderate ENE wind, might it rain - doubtful. But the clear signs of Autumn are there and I always approach every autumn with a sense of foreboding. I hate those long dark nights and short dreary days of winter that follows, the severe gales and the damage that they cause.
But back to the reserve and while there may be a lack of water, it has been turning up a wide range of birds this last couple of weeks, especially birds of prey. After the excitement of the Osprey and Pallid Harrier it has been the turn of both a male and female Hen Harriers, both adult birds and down from the north of England for their customary winter stay here on Sheppey. White-fronted Geese and Short-eared Owls have begun appearing, no doubt coming in from the Continent on the Easterly winds. The largish owls look quite delightful as they make their all day hunting flights across the fields and saltings of the reserve. On Sunday while walking round the reserve, I not only saw a pair of Ravens, still an uncommon bird here, but also a Common Crane which has been around for a few days. The rather naff photo, taken at some distance in poor, early morning light, shows the Crane in a stubble field alongside the reserve.
Going back to the Easterly winds, elsewhere here in Kent they have also started to push over from Scandinavia the first winter thrushes, Redwings and Fieldfares. Bramblings, Yellow-browed Warblers and Shorelarks have also appeared and so we kiss the summer goodbye for another year.

tonight a great orange moon came up
it came up above the trees
and hung there in a cloudless sky.
I tried t write more about you
but it kept on hanging there
makin the words seem like a lie.

tonight I had t ring you up
t tell you about the moon
and had you seen it as well.
because it wasn't just the wine
or the heat outside
makin it feel I was under a spell.

tonight the moon was my friend
because you came over
and we drank a bottle or two.
but it wasn't just the moon
that made it what it was,
it had a lot t do with you.


  1. We are feeling a change in the weather, too, although more subtle than yours.

  2. I suppose when the easterly winds blow, like us your weather will turn colder. It is the price we both pay for living on or near to the beautiful east coastal area.

  3. That north-easterly wind was just passing Scandinavia. Believe me it's come from Spitsbergen, if not the north pole itself.

  4. Fortunately Sidney, it's due to turn round on Friday and start coming from the SW. The NE has it's good points though, it brings in lots of migrant birds from your area.