dawn geese


getting up a bit earlier has its rewards


the way clouds are lit by the low sun never stops attracting me and my lens


different weather makes for different skies over the same landscape


at this time of year we have an autumn dawn chorus – pink-footed geese flying inland from their roosts on the coast at Stiffkey and Holkham to forage in the fields. they take spilled grain from stubble fields –


then once the sugarbeet harvest starts they come to glean the remainder that the machine leaves; it trims the tops off and sizeable pieces are left on the ground.


they do flock onto fields of winter wheat and can cause damage (the RSPB publishes guidelines on managing this ) but they prefer the calorie-rich beet. during the second world war artillery practice on the coast stopped them using their roosts, and during my childhood they were not a feature of our skies, but in the mid eighties they started to return, and now they migrate from Greenland and Iceland in their thousands.


they are a stunning sight in the mornings here in North Norfolk, skein after skein flying over fast, swapping leaders, gabbling away in pink-foot calls of pink pink and oink oink, not the farmyard goose’s clanging honk, and nothing like canada geese.


you hear them echoing across the sky for a few minutes before you see them. here outside my house there were two more skeins out of shot for my iphone, but visible with the naked eye.


a double treat, pretty skies and the spectacular geese. each skein can be over a hundred birds.


though the geese are just as happy to fly on a grey morning ……

meanwhile other delights of autumn are slow to get going, the trees just beginning to turn.


our best colour is from the field maples


but I have seen some fiery sycamores this autumn. ornamental trees are dropping brightly coloured leaves in gardens; I have been benefiting from my friend’s red foliaged-not-quite-sure-what-tree but some sort of maple, it really looks like a red sycamore, and her liquid amber with beautiful star-pointed leaves, both of which make contact prints of mauves and purples on silk and wool.


those mornings when it’s not raining and the sun lights up the clouds seem a bit rare this autumn here in the east so I make the most of them.


also making the most of the damp mild nights, I put in salad leaf seeds and am crossing my fingers. I had a great success with them the winter before last. apples are ripe now, I am storing as many as I can, I have a huge crop from three little trees.


pleased to say I can see no sign of ash die-off on the superb ash trees in our lanes. they drop their leaves first of all the trees, after they turn yellow-green. here the early sun turned them gold.


hoping for more sun-lit mornings soon





  1. Another lovely blog, Jane. It is a very spectacular autumn here in Suffolk as well with much awe and wonder. When I lived in Felixstowe, I used to drive along the A14 to Needham Market and I frequently saw the geese flying in their amazing formations towards Essex.

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