I finally manage to access the blog and can begin contributions from the 'West Country'. Duncan
Walk out into the village this afternoon, with the children on bikes, to photograph the church for a drawing. Stopped to regroup in the winter sunshine by Ashcott farm and watched the dairy cattle steaming in their yard. The thousands of starlings, that mass in bands across Somerset at this time of year, were all sitting in their hundreds along the food trough rails ambivalent to the periodic bangs of the bird scarers. In the trees above the graveyard their chatter almost drowned out conversation until as one they were silent and threw themselves into the sky in pursuit of some other diversion. By 3.30 pm they are sweeping overhead in massed bands heading for the reedbeds down on the levels at Mere and Shapwick Heath, their swoosh of wings your first warning. Moon high in the autumn afternoon sky, ice still on the pond although water sitting on top again now. Saw a fox last night in the village standing stock still in the road to look at me before slipping into a hedge, will our ducks make it to Christmas as they insist on sleeping on the ice and not in their duck house?