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December 2005

9th - Thick fog in the morning with visibility as low as 100 metres along Long Lane and near the river Hull.

27th - After a relatively mild start to the winter the first proper snow of the year arrived today, which after initially beginning as sleety wet snow eventually turned into proper snow which settled quickly upon the ground.

28th - 5 cm of snow lay on the ground when I awoke this morning and with further snow showers during the day the depth would increase to 7 cm by mid-afternoon. Becoming cold overnight under clear skies with a new record low of -5.9 C being recorded.

Deep Dale (Callis Wold) - Enjoyed a very wintry walk up on the roof of the Yorkshire Wolds, the countryside being transformed into a winter wonderland. Since this cold spell is unlikely to be prolonged my father and I decided to make the most of it whilst it was with us and despite the tricky road conditions we spent a few hours up in what is perhaps my favourite corner of the East Riding. Unsurprisingly given the weather we didn't see much wildlife, though a roe deer was spotted, whilst a variety of tits and goldcrests were seen feeding amongst the larches.

29th - A cold and wintry day with temperatures barely rising above freezing. Indeed overnight the temperature would plummet again with the record set yesterday being short-lived as the thermometer fell to a new record low of -6.4 C.

Nunburnholme Wold - On a very frosty and snowy morning we enjoyed a walk around Nunburnholme, beginning our walk from the top of the hill and descending down to the village. As we fell the temperature noticeably fell with us, the thermometer falling as low as -10 C on the edge of the village (it had been only -6 C at the top), a very real demonstration of how cold air sinks. The countryside looked outstandingly beautiful as we enjoyed our walk and with milder air forecast to arrive tomorrow we savoured the sights and sounds of the transient winter beauty, the air being like champagne as we began the climb back up through the wood to our starting point.

30th - A period of snow in the morning, the snow being heavy for a couple of hours, but eventually milder air would push in with the rain turning into sleet and finally rain. However despite the milder air and the heavy rain, the lying snow would survive throughout the day with still 2 cm being recorded the next morning (31st).

31st - Still 2 cm of lying snow this morning, though somewhat slushy after the rain yesterday.

November 2005

2nd - Unusually mild today with the thermometer rising as high as 17.7 C.

4th - 30-40 Wood Pigeons flew over at 7.30 am, heading SW. Meanwhile a skein of c.40 Pink-footed Geese were seen in the east heading SSE at around 10 am. In the garden three Redwings were in the hawthorns whilst a Great-spotted Woodpecker repeatedly visited the peanut feeder.

5th, Fenlands - Enjoyed a day in the Fens taking in Welney and the nearby reserve of Welches Dam on the other side of the Ouse Washes. Welney is always one of my favourite places to visit, the landscape and winter birdlife of this part of the world really appealing to me, whilst our visit to Welches Dam was our first, the journey to the reserve over a bumpy and winding Fenland road being as entertaining as the birding. Bird-wise it was good to see the Whooper Swans again, the cries of these birds being so evocative, whilst the Wigeon, Teal and Pochard also provided a visual feast for a wildfowl lover like me. At Welches Dam a feral Bar-headed Goose also provided some extra interest.

6th - Six Redwings were in the garden at dusk.

8th - A gathering of about 60-80 Jackdaws was seen overhead in late afternoon.

9th - The Great-spotted Woodpecker was back again today.

10th - The finches are currently moving through the area in mixed flocks, comprised mainly of Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Chaffinches.

12th - A lone Redwing in the hawthorn at 10 am.

13th, Kirby Underdale - Enjoyed a pleasant autumn stroll in this most attractive corner of the Yorkshire Wolds, the countryside still being reluctant to shed its autumn clothing thanks to the very mild weather so far this month. However it does look like it might turn a little cooler in the coming days.

18th - First air frost of the winter with a low of -0.3 C this morning.

20th, Deepdale (Callis Wold) - The colder weather of the last week has certainly improved the autumn tints up on the Yorkshire Wolds, the larch and beech woods in Deepdale looking particularly good today on what was a sunny and frosty Sunday morning.

22nd - A single Redwing was once more seen in the garden.

23rd - Six Redwings were seen eating some Cottoneaster berries with the resident Blackbirds today, an unusual sight. Does it portent colder weather?

24th - A decent frost for the time of year with a low of -3.2 C this morning.

October 2005

3rd - The Black-headed and Common Gulls seem to have moved back into the area for the winter, the Black-heads having all lost their summer plumage now. The odd Herring Gull is also seen from time to time but usually in much smaller numbers.

10th - Nine Wood Pigeons were feeding on the lawn today.

14th - The Starlings have started to roost in the tall Leylandii in the NE corner of the garden.

16th - 70+ gulls seen flying south over the garden this morning.

Nunburnholme - A good walk up through Bratt Wood this morning on what was a fine and sunny October morning. The autumn tints are still pretty modest but nevertheless the beech trees are starting to show some tint here and there.

23rd - Huggate Wold - A wet and damp walk up on the high Wolds, the path down through Tundale Wood being particularly muddy, especially at the "bend". However the grim autumn weather was somewhat compensated for by the autumn tints showing in the beech and larch woods.

27th - The first Redwing of the year was spotted in the garden today, the attractive winter thrush in question being seen munching on the Yew berries.

28th - Fourteen Pink-footed Geese flew right over the house at 7.45 am.

September 2005

3rd, Pen-y-Ghent - Climbed this distinctively shaped hill with my father today on what was a fine last summer/early autumn day in this beautiful and dramatic corner of Yorkshire. We had climbed Ingleborough earlier in the year and it now just leaves Whernside to complete the Yorkshire trinity of hills. Nature wise a few Ravens and Wheatears were the highlights though it was the aforementioned landscape which stole the show, the towering lumps of rock, bare stone and rivers being very different from the more gentle and pastoral landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds!

18th - A good walk around the Warter area, the walk beginning from near the top of Great Dugdale and heading down to the attractive village of Warter with its distinctive spired church via the footpath. The wildflowers and crops along the path hosted a decent variety of butterflies, including the likes of Ringlets and Meadow Browns, though colour was provided by a few Red Admirals and at least a couple of Commas. After reaching the village we headed up the road to our starting location, taking in time to enjoy the late summer countryside which is currently dominated by the golden stubble fields.

22nd - Eleven Goldfinches observed at the feeding station today. Meanwhile a Comma butterfly was seen sunning itself on the Hawthorn.

24th - The Swallows appear to have left for the summer.

28th - The elderberry crop this year is very healthy indeed, as the photo below demonstrates. We must really try making some elderberry wine one of these days.

August 2005

2nd - The Marbled Whites are still out in good numbers up in the Yorkshire Wolds, the best area for seeing these beauties being around Millington Dale and the associated dales of Nettle, Sylvan and Tun. However many seem to be infested with red mites, and I have seen similar mites on a number of other species too, including Ringlets & Meadow Browns.

8th - Had a good day up in the Thixendale and NW corner of the Yorkshire Wolds today, the countryside around here being amongst my favourite corners of not only Yorkshire but the whole of the British Isles. Though I do love my home down on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds near Beverley I would love to live up here one day, the countryside and more interesting weather which comes with extra altitude being very much my cup of tea. However whether I will ever be in a position to pursue such a dream remains to be seen.

18th - Heavy thundery showers overnight with nearly half an inch of rain being recorded.

22nd - Two Chiffchaffs seen in the garden today, probably migrating juveniles.

24th - A Spotted Flycatcher was seen in the garden today, a new record for the garden. The bird in question hunted in the garden for an hour or so, using the rose arch as its primary perch.

25th - The wheat harvest is going well in the county at the moment, with combines working hard all over the Yorkshire Wolds. Meanwhile the last of this years winter barley has now been pretty much completely gathered in up on the high Wolds.

25th - A couple of Chiffchaffs seen in the garden again, though they were probably not the same two as those seen on the 22nd as they much duller coloured.

30th - There have been no observations of Swifts during the last few days.

31st - Thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.