Saying goodbye to our swallows and warblers at the end of Summer and then welcoming the fieldfares and redwings to stay over the Winter, is not the end of the story.
Yesterday after lunch the farmer and I walked down the lane on a mild, damp day. We have luckily escaped the worst of the weather here in the Dales and although it is wet quite a lot of the time and there have been gales, it is nothing compared to the poor folk in the South West of the country, who have been flooded out by either rivers bursting their banks or tidal surges.
Our walk was peppered with blackbirds, who have a silly habit of crossing the lane from hedge to hedge and flying only about a foot off the ground, which is why there are often fatalities as they get hit by cars.
Every few yards yet another blackbird flew out and this morning there were a dozen or so at our bird table. Yes, another Winter visitor has arrived from Northern Europe. It is easy to spot the visitors - our native blackbirds have a yellow/orange bill while the incomers have a nondescript brownish bill.
So it is welcome blackbirds - you are welcome to visit our bird table for breakfast every morning because we love to see you.
Today is damp and breezy again - not actually raining but certainly it is not worth pegging out the washing, which is now drying on the Sheila Maid above the Aga.
Must go and prepare the lunch. This eating of good, healthy, low calorie food certainly takes a lot of preparation. Today it is lentil, tomato and onion soup followed by pasta with chicken breast, low fat cheese, mixed vegetables and a topping of parmesan.