Country Walk, Autumn Colour in the Garden and a few Moths

D and I visited an area in North Warwickshire last Sunday afternoon where we used to walk regularly when the children were little. I haven't been to the area since I was conducting BTO Atlas surveys a few years ago. On one rather unforgettable occasion E and I got totally lost on public footpaths - each and everyone had a habit of petering out and mysteriously disappearing. D and I stuck to the lanes this time and did a circular walk.

The habitat is mainly arable farmland

with a few areas of woodland

and a small hamlet. I love this cottage - in fact, I've wanted to buy it for more years that I care to remember!

There are still a few flowers on the grass verges - clover and these umbellifers.

Lots of holly berries in the hedgerows awaiting the arrival of winter thrushes. We didn't see any on the walk but a small flock of Redwing flew over the garden yesterday so they have returned locally.

I love the way Black Bryony berries thread their way through hedgerow bushes.

Still a few blackberries about although way past their picking date.

It was lovely to see some autumn colour in the trees.

We didn't see a great many bird species - just roving tit flocks, blackbirds, a sparrowhawk and pheasants and red-legged partridges far out-numbered the flocks of wood pigeons. We tried to use the car as a hide to get a photo of the pheasant - no way as soon as he saw us he was off running up the lane.

We didn't have much luck with getting a photo of red-legged partridges either!

Back at home the garden is looking very autumnal - seedheads and leaves changing colour on the climbing hydgrangea.

Smoke Tree

and Acer.

I had several chrysanthemums in pots (the type that are often for sale in supermarkets late summer) but after the first few years they stopped flowering. B planted all three in garden borders this Spring and they are now flowering profusely again providing a welcome splash of colour at this time of year.

I've had the moth trap out several nights recently (hoping without success for a Merveille du Jour) and there is still a steady trickle of moths each night including several new species for the year such as Red-line and Yellow-line Quaker, Chestnut and Green-brindled Crescent.

Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta)

Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria). Its been a good year here for this species - I have never trapped so many.

Red-line Quaker (Agrochola Iota) and Yellow-line Quaker

Green Brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae)

Feathered Thorn again - beautiful antennae on this male. The highly sensitive antennae enable males to detect the sex pheromones that females release to attract males.

Emmelina monodactyla

We have loads of Harlequin Ladybirds flying around in the garden at the moment and already a dozen have found their way indoors to hibernate in a corner of the bathroom ceiling. Harlequin Ladybirds have many different colours and patterns. I spotted this one yesterday on Cosmos in the front garden and the colours and markings just reminded me of Halloween.