Although summer is drifting inexorably into autumn, we can still enjoy a wealth of visual delights among the flora and fauna.

A notable example is heather, its purple spikes putting on a magnificent display this year. Another name is 'ling', derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'fire', as the plant was an important fuel source at one time.

Heather attracts honey and bumble bees, meadow brown butterflies and bush crickets while lizards scurry along below.

Michaelmas daisies are also flowering splendidly and as well as being colourful, provide rich nectar for a range of insects into autumn.

Then there are aural pleasures too. Despite the fact that birdsong is at its minimum now, wood pigeons coo-coo their soporific summer sounds among the trees and of course robins (pictured) are beginning to sing their rather wistful refrains proclaiming territorial rights which they will fiercely defend from now on right into next spring, scrapping with any rivals trying to usurp them.

I discount another bird, namely the rose-ringed parakeet whose loud yelping is a constant unwelcome annoyance all day long.

Swifts flew south in late July, earlier than usual and who can blame them given the weather in early August.

Oddly though, the last swift I saw was on 12th August flying due north instead of south.

Perhaps his sat-nav (which evolved in birds long before we 'invented; it) was faulty!    .