1st - Lots of Goldfinches in the garden at the moment, especially juveniles with their grey heads. There almost constantly present on the Niger feeders.
2nd, Thixendale - Walked in this fine area in the heart of the Wolds, on a cloudy and breezy day, with some bits and pieces of rain at times. Still quite a bit of uncut wheat in this area, though ploughing has begun in a few fields too. A Stoat was seen along the walk, and in the scrubby areas there is an abundant berry and currant crop. In the village there was the nice smell of coal fires hanging in the air, a deeply evocative smell. A nice walk.
3rd - A large flock of Lapwings seen to the north of Swinemoor. I also saw five Golden Plovers flying over the area.
4th - A Speckled Wood butterfly seen in the garden, on what was a beautifully sunny afternoon.
St. James, Nunburnholme - This delightful little Norman church lies in a village very familiar to me and it is set amongst some of the finest countryside in the East Riding. The church contains a number of treasures, including a 10th century Anglo-Scandinavian cross shaft which is covered in carvings, a Norman tower arch, and fragments of 14th century stained glass. The tower of the church was erected in 1902 and dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Francis Orpen Morris, an early local naturalist and ornithologist. The tower also contains a recently restored peal of six bells.
St. Nicholas, North Newbald - This is one of the finest churches in the East Riding and is built to a scale which is perhaps larger than one would expect for a relatively minor village between Hull and York. It is indeed considered the finest Norman church in the county and is an aisleless cruciform building with a 14th century chancel. The exterior has three well preserved Norman doorways, the most elaborate of which opens on to the nave with a stone carving of a seated Christ above it. Inside the crossing between the different parts of the church are marked by four perfect Norman arches and the church contains a number of interesting features, including a fine village organ.
5th - Eight Golden Plovers were seen in the Parks area this morning, some in scruffy adult plumage. Gulls also around in good numbers at the moment. Very warm today, up to 24 C, and feeling quite muggy for the time of year.
6th - Picked Elderberries for jam and jelly making. Warm again.
7th - Very warm with a high of 24.7 C, actually the 2nd warmest day of the year.
9th, Blacktoft Sands - Went to the RSPB reserve of Blacktoft Sands this morning, on a sunny and warm day. Arrived half an hour earlier than usual, which did make a difference I think as this reserve can become quite busy. Many highlights including Bearded tits, Greenshanks, Spotted Redshanks, Ruff, Godwits, Green Sandpiper, Knot, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Barn Owl, & Kingfisher. The Marsh Harriers were seen frequently with three individual birds were seen at one point. A Buzzard was also seen. A good mornings birding with a total of 46 species observed.
11th - A nearly 100% sunny day.
16th - A sunny and warm day, with a high up to 22 C. This month has been completely dry so far with no measurable rainfall, as high pressure has dominated the month thus far.
Flamborough Head & Bempton Cliffs - Dad, Add, and I went to see the QE2 passing Flamborough Head this morning, watching from the car park at Bempton. Quite a few other people likewise had the same idea and it was good to watch this famous ship sail by. We didn’t bother to go down to the cliffs themselves.
19th - A Chiffchaff was seen in the garden, singing occasionally too as well. Up to twenty Goldfinches also seen at the feeding station, mostly scruffy juveniles.
26th - A cool day with a high of just 12.8 C.
North Cave Wetlands - A great mornings birding at our local reserve, where the undoubted highlight was a Grey Phalarope, a new species for this reserve. It was a pretty little wader, even though it’s now in its winter plumage, and it was also a remarkably active bird, swimming around like a cork as it chases flies on the waters surface. A great start to this birding trip. Other highlights today included a lone Barnacle Goose, which was with the Greylag geese. A good number of Canada geese also seen today, and returning winter visitors included Wigeon, Pochard, Teal & Curlews. Gadwall also seen in good numbers and a dozen or so Snipe were observed around the reserve. A few Swallows & House Martins still around, and when we arrived a Buzzard was seen flying over the reserve. A great mornings birding with a grand total of forty three species recorded.
27th - A flock of about thirty Golden Plovers flew north over the house at 3pm.
28th, Watton Lagoons & North Cave Wetlands - Went birding for much of the day today, taking advantage of the recently good conditions. Firstly we went to Watton Lagoons, where we rewarded with a sighting of a Pintail, and we also saw a Grey Wagtail in one of the drains. Indeed lots of wildfowl about with ten species represented, including at least two hundred Gadwall, 100 Wigeon, and around 150 Greylag geese. The Kingfisher was also seen, and both Swallows and House Martins were seen hunting over the area. A good start to the day.
From Watton we went over to North Cave, where the main highlights included three Barnacle Goose, adding to the one seen the other day, and a Bar Headed Goose also joined all the other geese. A skein of Pink footed Geese was also seen passing over the reserve. Indeed wildfowl was seen in good numbers, with a total of eleven species. The Grey Phalarope has moved on sadly. A good trip with about fifty species seen today.
29th - Golden Plovers heard on Swinemoor this morning.
30th, Huggatewold Wood & Millingtondale - A pleasant wolds walk with some good autumn colours in the woods, particularly the Beeches. However worryingly we had to dip our feet in disinfectant at one point, as the fear of foot and mouth has returned to the area after a rash of cases in the south of the country. Hopefully we won’t see a repeat of the outbreak of a few years ago.