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October 2006

1st - A Hedgehog was outside the front door this morning. A thundery shower in the afternoon.

Blacktoft Sands - A good morning at this Humber wetland. Not many species about but several were seen in abundance, including Shelduck, Teal, Shoveler, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Snipe, Black tailed Godwits, & Redshanks. Other good observations this morning included twenty Ruff, a Curlew, a couple of Kingfishers, ten Swallows, Tree Sparrows, and two Bearded tits. A bit busy though, as this reserve often is, but enjoyable nevertheless.

2nd - Skylarks heard for the first time in a few months out in the fields. Back in the garden six Mistle Thrushes were in the Sycamores, and on the Ivy up to eight Red Admirals were seen feeding on the flowers.

4th - The creeper in the Silver Birch is now wonderfully red.

5th - A fox seen near Old Hall Farm, and in the garden a female Blackcap was seen in the Elder, feeding on the berries.

8th, North Cave Wetlands - A great morning here at North Cave, as summer and winter visitors continue to overlap. Nearly fifty species seen, with the main highlights of the morning a skein of Pink footed Geese which passed over, and I also saw my first Redwing of this winter. Indeed it was the first seen on the reserve this winter too. Other good observations this morning included up to 16 Gadwall, loads of Teal & Tufted ducks, 20 Pochards, three Ruddy ducks, nine Ruff, a Dunlin, Snipe, a few Skylarks & Meadow Pipits, and Willow warblers. A pair of Kestrels also seen, and there were good numbers of Pied Wagtails in the nearby fields. An enjoyable mornings birding.

9th - A Chiffchaff heard and seen in the garden throughout the day.

10th - A Hedgehog outside the front door this morning.

11th - Three medium waders flew to the east at 9am, flying against a brisk south easterly breeze and under low and heavy clouds. Looked like Golden Plovers. A dull and grey day.

12th - Three Cormorants seen to the east of the house this morning, flying southwards. Other observations on my migration watch this morning included 35 Golden Plovers, thrushes, Skylarks, & Pipits. In the garden the Goldcrests were very active today, with a pair seen repeatedly chasing each other.

13th - A foggy start to the day but the rest of the day became sunny and pleasant.

14th - A Peacock butterfly seen in the garden, the first I’ve seen for a month. The Inkcap’s are emerging from the lawn. Thick fog this morning.

15th - The coldest day for four and a half months, with a high of 14.9 C, a testament to the mildness of this summer and autumn thus far.

17th - Skylarks heard passing over this morning, and up to four Mistle Thrushes were in the Sycamores at one point. The day had begun with dense fog, with visibility under 50 metres in the Parks area.

21st - A Brambling seen briefly in the garden during the afternoon. It had arrived with a party of other finches.

22nd - Twelve Goldfinches at the feeding station today.

North Cave Wetlands - I birded alone this morning, as Mum and Dad went to pick Add up. Lots to see this morning, with the first golden crowned Wigeon seen this winter, which was amongst a flock of five other Wigeon, as well as the return of Redshanks. Other good observations this morning included 12 Shoveler, many Pochards & Teal, a Buzzard, 15 Golden Plovers, two Ruff, a few Snipe, and a single Blackcap. There were also many Goldfinches flittering about in the surrounding fields, as well as Skylarks singing high above them. A fine morning with 43 species seen.

24th - A Greylag goose passed over the house this morning, and at the feeding station three House Sparrows were seen. A beautiful Octobers day.

25th - Noticed that Orion is back in the morning sky. I also saw a SHOOTING STAR this morning, which was particularly bright and long. At 9am their was a Sun dog, and there was a hint of halo as Cirrostratus moved in. Heavy rain in the evening with a total of over an inch recorded.

26th - Six Grey Squirrels seen in the garden today.

28th - Saw my first Redwing of this winter in the garden.

29th, Deepdale (Calliswold) - Walked at Tropical Valley this morning, where the Beech trees are now going gold, and the Larches too are on the turn. A Bullfinch was also seen this morning, moving amongst a groups of finches which included Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, & Linnets. There were also a few Yellowhammers amongst them too. In the nearby fields a few Fieldfares were seen, as was a flock of Lapwings, and large numbers of Rooks & Starlings. There was also a great abundance of Wood Pigeons & Pheasants in the area this morning. A jolly fine walk.

30th - A Blue butterfly was observed in the garden today, very late for a Blue.

31st - Wind chill dropping to -3 C overnight.