For the Wee County’s wildlife, change is now all around, with many of our summer bird visitors having left for warmer climes in Africa, and a host of others soon to descend upon our shores from their northern breeding grounds.

There is a clarity to the air in September, which I find most compelling; an invigorating freshness that is the very oxygen of life. As I wander along the banks of the River Devon, the warblers which were previously so common have now mostly gone. The sweet cascading calls of willow warblers and the scratchy utterances of whitethroats and sedge warblers are no more than a lingering in the mind.

The ferocious floods of the past few weeks have left a plethora of debris along the riverbank; tumbled branches, and the like. Any late broods of sand martins and kingfishers will have sadly been decimated by the rising maelstrom waters of the Devon. But that is nature, and the way of things since the dawn of time.

As autumn begins to take hold, there is so much to look forward to. Over the next few weeks’, the first chevrons of greylag and pink-footed geese will etch their way across the pastel morning and evening skies, bringing new colour and vibrancy to the landscape. And the rowans and hawthorns now hanging heavy with glistening scarlet berries will prove a magnet for fieldfares and redwings as they swoop-in from their Scandinavian and Icelandic breeding grounds.

Autumn is a time of great bounty, and nature makes the most of this rich harvest, fattening-up in preparation for the unpredictable ravages of the winter ahead