Friday, 20 November 2020

A Short November day

 We had a hard frost this morning and the early few hours of the morning saw blue skies and sunshine that made a walk around the reserve very pleasant, especially now that the White-fronted Goose numbers have increased to sixty birds - they really are such delightful birds and it's so hard to think of them being shot.

This afternoon has been a typical November afternoon, the blue skies were soon covered by grey cloud that drifted in, it became colder and here on Sheppey, we have the second highest Covid-19 figures in the country - it's like simply waiting for that inevitable bony hand to tap you on the shoulder and say you're next!

Darkness will come early this afternoon, the sparrows on the bird table are snatching their last mouthfuls of food before they settle down in the bushes alongside for the night, twittering to each other until darkness descends. Just think, if this was 3.00 on a July afternoon, the sun and the heat would just be reaching their peak and there would be seven more hours to go before darkness was complete - oh how I wish!

The garden outside, that spent all summer bursting with colour and wildlife, now looks so drab and green, some leaves still cling on to the crab apple tree - soon frosts will freeze the ground - blackbirds feed on the pyracantha berries - life will soon get tough. The pond, where this summer, I fed newts with earthworms I'd dug up, is just a cold expanse of empty water, untouched by the sun that sits low in the sky.

Too many afternoon hours now get spent musing over the summer that has been and gone - the Covid virus that restricted life and bought premature death to so many people - the brief couple of hot and sunny months when life almost seemed normal - the week long holiday spent in a farm cottage in Devon - the bees, the butterflies, the birds in the garden.

A short November day.

14 comments:

  1. Derek,
    Any sightings of wintering hen harrier or short-eared owl yet?
    Best,
    James

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    1. Single SEO's are regularly being seen in the Shellness area and at least one male HH is also about and roosting at Shellness.

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  2. ... lovely blog by the way.
    Saw a good number of brent geese in fields around St Thomas' church yesterday

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  3. Yes, the farmer went down there this morning and set off a loud explosion to scare them off. They were back within the hour.

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  4. There hasn't been a lot of daylight here either today Derek. And I got up three times to go to the bathroom last night/ the thermometer for the central heating is set at eighteen overnight and each time I got up the heating was going full pelt so it must have been cold here too.

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    1. The most important thing Pat, is that you stay warm.

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  5. Our pond was iced over. We have thousands of pink footed geese here as we do every winter, Loch of Strathbeg. North east Scotland just down the road.

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    1. Unfortunately Justjill, the sight of all those geese is something I've never experienced, it must be fantastic. The most Pinkfeets that we get down here is the odd half dozen most early winter.

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  6. I live over in Ashford and our Covid rate is pretty low. I wonder why Sheppey and Thanet are so high in comparison, Derek?

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  7. Holiday camps and caravan sites could be a lot to do with it, the people that frequent them seem to have a less than responsible attitude.

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  8. We have a high Covid rate in the South Wales valleys and probably the main reason is the terraced housing and it's still part and parcel of Valleys life to socialise and pop into each others house.

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  9. It feels strange to say, but I love gray days. They are good for thinking, for keeping busy inside, for tending to the details of life.

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