A FAVOURED haunt of mine at dawn and dusk at this time of year is a sloping hill pasture near my home by the edge of the Ochils.

It is a place where peace and tranquillity abound, perfect for soothing the mind and lifting the spirits.

One late afternoon, as the diminishing light of dusk gathered, redwings swept up from the green-spiked rushes ahead of me, dancing and bobbing in the air before alighting on the top of a beech that stood proud in a nearby shelterbelt.

Redwings breed in Scandinavia and adjacent areas of northern Europe, descending upon our shores every autumn.

The air hung heavy with the redolence of autumn, and because the claggy soil was frost-free and yielding, the redwings had been foraging in among the rushes for worms and other invertebrates.

These delightful winter-visiting thrushes were lively birds, perennially wary of my presence, and constantly uttering high-pitch 'chook' calls to keep in contact with one another.

When hard frosts descend, redwings switch from invertebrate food to avidly seek out the berries of hawthorns and hollies, quickly stripping them bare of their rich bounty.

It is at this time they will often come into gardens. If the weather remains bitter and prolonged, redwings may move further south and west to seek respite in milder climes.

I often glimpse roe deer on these morning and late afternoon walks, their prominent white rumps flashing like beacons as they flee.

Roe deer are perennially curious beasts, and if I inadvertently disturb a small group, which then bound away, they will almost always stop to have a final look at me.

The field is also rich in fungi, including puffballs and mottlegill toadstools, attracted by the remnants of cowpats left behind from the summer's grazing.

In one corner of the pasture, an abundance of yellow waxcaps proliferate the ground.

I am sure these striking fungi weren't there last year, which made me ponder on what was the spur that suddenly made them materialise.

As ever with nature, there are always so many questions and rarely any answers.