Saturday, 10 January 2009

Disappearing Windfall

Its been a cold last week or so. Today at 11 am the car thermometer read an outside air temperature of -4 C, by dusk it had warmed up to 0 C. A frost coats the branches of hedgerow trees, like a light dusting of icing sugar and all day a low winter sun has tried unsuccessfully to break through a ceiling of grey cloud.

A friends garden in Titchwell contains a small orchard and just before Christmas I took this picture of some of the hundreds of windfall apples which for various reasons hadn't been harvested this year. Today all that was left of this bruised fruit harvest, were a few brown husks of hollowed out apple skins and maybe twenty or so half eaten cooking apples surrounded by a flock of Blackbirds and Fieldfares, which over the last few weeks have steadily eaten their way through tens of pounds of apples.

Soon this source of food will be gone and these birds may then join the hundreds of other thrushes that have been doing a similar clean up job at the big apple orchard between Thornham and Holme, or they will have to start looking in the hedgerows for the last of the Hawthorn berries. They certainly won't be able to probe the hard ground for food.

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