October 2001

In all the wind and rain of the last weekend I was surprised to see a small party of Swallows skimming amongst the grazing cattle. The bulk of theses birds will have left these shores in August/September and thus to some extent any seen now will have missed the boat and be increasingly less likely to complete the long journey to South Africa.

If you donít feed the birds in the Summer months, now is the time to restart. The secret is not to put too much at a time, as any left overnight will simply attract vermin. Remove mouldy or soiled food and give the bird feeder an occasional clean.

Leaves are beginning to fall and if you value your lawn should not be left undisturbed for more than a few days or the grass will start to turn yellow. For leaf sweeping you canít beat a birch broom, but good quality brooms are hard to find. Almost as good are the plastic tined rakes that damage the grass much less than the older spring tined wire rakes.

The weather for October is said to be more fine than rough. St Lukeís Day, 18th October, usually heralds a week of fine weather. ďIf the oak bears itís leaves in October, there will be a hard winterĒ is said to be a reliable sign.

HIRUNDINE 8th October 2001


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