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15.8.2014

 I have been invited to contribute to the BIFGA website. As a retired member, I will submit the occasional note on the natural world. They will be mostly about birds, my lifelong interest.

Some birds are noticed by fruit growers for the wrong reasons - from Bullfinches in the 1960's to, perhaps, Rose-ringed parakeets in the near future.

I think that fruit growers, less cocooned in their machines than arable farmers, are in a better position to notice the wildlife around them. I would love to respond to any comments from members.

Now, in August, birds which come to the UK for the summer, are beginning to make their way south for the winter. While I was picking blackberries, I saw a Whitethroat - an insect-eating warbler - doing the same! Several insectivorous species eat fruit in the autumn to gain extra energy for their perilous journey ahead. - Alistair Henderson