Nature notes from Appleton Wiske, 13 Sep 13

Today it rained, gently, a grey, quiet day. Quiet because the sparrows and starlings aren’t chattering about, cheeping and peeping as they usually do.

The village is normally alive with groups of sparrows, constantly flitting back and too between the houses where they nest and the hedges, where they flap about, cheeping and chattering. I’m used to waking in the morning to hear them- but the last two days, they’ve been silent.

Likewise, the starlings have ceased their noisy clattering and tapping sounds.

So it was strangely silent as I walked up the lane. Most of the crops are harvested now; ploughing has begun. The flash of coloured flowers from the summer is over now, and the landscape is resuming its usual colour palette of greys, browns and greens. The trees are a deep, dull green now, but some of the leaves on the elder trees have begun to turn, adding a splash of warm yellow.

Leaves changing colour on Elder in a hedge at Appleton Wiske

Leaves changing colour on Elder in a hedge at Appleton Wiske

The seagulls have begun to come inland – they follow the ploughs. There was a big aerial fight the other day between incoming seagulls and resident crows.

The swallows and house martins are still here, the swallows swooping low over the fields, the house martins flying higher. I never notice them go in the autumn – just suddenly, one day, they’re just not there any more.

But they’re still here now.

About Helen Johnson

Freelance writer specialising in Yorkshire's history and heritage.

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