‘Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.’
~ Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, 1912.
A rustle of vegetation … an eye … who’s this lurking behind the ‘snipe paddock’ fence at Cosmeston?
A female Pheasant? A common enough bird in the local countryside but not normally seen here in this dog-full park. She has quite short tail feathers and she’s not too bothered about my presence so I presume she’s a juvenile.
It seems she’s quite partial to blackberries.
Are there more of those delicious treats?
Aha, yes, another ripe one.
And, after scoffing those couple of berries, she wanders off in search of more.
It’s only been a few weeks since I saw my first winter thrushes of the season but now they’re everywhere, feasting on autumn’s bounty of lush, delicious berries. Song and Mistle thrushes, Blackbirds, Redwings and Fieldfares and, not a thrush, the Woodpigeons are also indulging in the berry-fest. The Redwings are particularly skittish but I’ve managed to sneak up on a few to grab photos, though, more often than not, the whole tree I’m trying to approach will suddenly erupt with birds flying off in all directions. And then I feel a little guilty about interrupting their repast.
In recent days, on my regular walks, whether in suburban streets or in the local parks and nature reserves, wherever I see berries there are birds, usually thrushes, gobbling down as many berries as they can find.
A Song thrush found its golden treasure trove in a tiny, but well-planted-for-wildlife garden amongst the apartments of Penarth Marina, and, below, this thrush, at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, looked to have chosen a berry far too big for its beak but it persevered and, eventually, by applying a little pressure to squash the berry a fraction, down the hatch it went.