Leaves fall from the trees but the early sun vanishes and the light is poor. Flights of redwing overhead, the small and slender thrush with a high-pitched contact call- this morning they are silent. Fieldfare amongst them but they are silent too. The birds alight high in the canopy and it's hard to make out detail. Fieldfare and redwing are shy birds and the last leaves conceal their numbers.
Bunches of purple grapes on the vine against the lichened brick wall. Dahlias and a drift of Spanish daisies.
We come upon a bed of Chinese lanterns and a single fruit within the remnant of its outer casing.
The Sizergh experience is magical- autumn fruit and winter thrush lively amongst the trees. You have to know what you're seeing because they're not close- like that once-upon-a-time orchard in the Quantocks. Flights of winter thrush settle high in the trees, hiding amongst the last autumn leaves in a network of twigs and branches.
On Autumn Watch this week, Chris Packham's eyes lit up as he spoke of all that science has revealed within the last fifteen years, about the relationship between trees and fungi. Science is revelatory, but species loss diminishes our experience in the natural world. I remember an abundance of winter thrush. Now you have to know what you're seeking and to find it you have to work so much harder.
Looking over my images of the day I can identify redwing. The bird has a distinctive white supercilium and a paler band beneath the cheek. The light is too poor to see the rusty red which shows on the flank on a brighter day. But one of the birds opens its wings about to take flight and a blurr of rusty red appears.