17 October 2006

The gathering gloom

The drive home from work is when I most notice the onset of darker nights.

This year's warm weather has held at bay most thoughts of autumn , but last night it felt decidely autumnal as I headed home, headlights already on.

However, one of the beauties of birding is that it can be done anywhere, and pretty much at any time. Even as I drove through the gathering gloom, birds were everywhere.

As I approached the A46, half a dozen partridges flew low over the road in front of me - surely Red-legged since I've never seen any Grey Partridges anywhere near here (or anywhere else come to that). As I headed on towards the Fosse Way a huge flock of Rooks erupted into flight from Ashorne Wood. And as I got out of my car, a Robin and two Blackbirds seemed to be engaged in a shouting match near my drive.

It's these little moments and encounters that make birding a constant pleasure, not just an occasional hobby. Whether it is a Kingfisher flashing along the local stream on my lunchtime stroll, or a Green Woodpecker calling noisily in fields near my garden, there is never a day when I don't partake in, and enjoy, some sort of birdwatching.

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