October 2007

2nd, St. Peter, Rowley - This church stands in Parkland near Rowley Manor, the former rectory now being a country hotel. It is built largely in the Early English style of the 13th century and the small church contains a mausoleum for the Ellerker family in the south chapel. This locally powerful family used to hold substantial lands in the area west of Beverley, with the now destroyed Risby Hall between Little Weighton and Bentley being their former family seat. It was from Rowley that the Puritan rector, the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, and many of his congregation, left for America, founding the community of Rowley in Massachusetts.


All Saints, Sancton - This church, located beside the busy Market Weighton to Hull road, has a unique Octagonal tower, the only one of its kind in the East Riding. The tower was constructed in the 15th century, though the church itself has its origins in the 12th century. However in the mid 19th century the church was substantially rebuilt and modernised, and though not to my taste it is a pleasant enough building which seems well cared for by the community which it serves. Interior features are few though there is an interesting octagonal font.


St. Mary, South Dalton - This beautiful church is amongst my favourites in the county, not only for its tall spire (200 feet) which is considered one of the finest in England, but for me it also marks the beginning of the "real" Wolds when heading northwards out of Beverley. The church was built for Lord Hotham in the mid 19th century and as well as being impressive on the outside it is also particularly fine inside, with superb stained glass, carved woodwork and stonework, original gas chandeliers, and hatchments and memorials to the locally influential Hotham family.


St. Mary, Etton - Just down the road from South Dalton lies the peaceful community of Etton, with its solid looking Norman church on its eastern edge. The church was restored in the Victorian period and contains two magnificent Norman arches, as well as some excellent Norman figure carvings which actually came from the now demolished church at Holme on the Wolds. Also inside are some fine painted reredos and a modern inscription commemorating John Lowthrop, founder of America's oldest congregational church.


3rd - Two Snipe seen at the Owl dip along Shepherds Lane, flying around the small pool. A Barn Owl was also present in the area.

8th-12th, East Midlands Tri
8th - Travelled down to the Market Harborough area in Northamptonshire with Mum and Dad today, where were staying in a small log cabin which is surrounded by fields and woods. It overlooks a small fishing pond, and it is a most pleasant and tranquil spot.


9th - Went to the Fenlands this morning, despite grey skies and driving rain, and by the time we reached Welney conditions had if anything grown worse. However a bit of weather doesn’t put us off, and besides Welney is very well catered for in terms of facilities, especially with the new centre. Indeed it was nice to sit in the cafĂ© and watch the rain pelting against the glass, as well as taking in the vast view over the endless flat and fertile fields. On the reserve itself were a few Whooper Swans, representing amongst the first arrivals of this winter, and another highlight was a hunting Kingfisher which repeatedly performed within a short distance of the hide. We also saw a couple of Marsh Harriers, ten species of wildfowl, and many Snipe. After finishing off at Welney we drove down to Ely, where we stopped for a bit of shopping and a brief look around. At one point the rain came on really heavy though, and this forced a retreat to the car. However after this spell of rain the day began to improve, and we went on to nearby Wicken Fen, where Dad and I went for a walk down to Adventurers Fen, an area we hadn’t visited before. This area is really quite wild, and indeed there is a heard of Konik ponies apparently, though we didn’t see them unfortunately. Out on the Mere we saw a Kingfisher hunting again, and other observations included a Water Rail, as well as all the normal autumn wildfowl. On the way back to the car we also spotted two Roe deer, and near the visitor centre we heard a Cetti’s Warbler singing from deep within the reeds. We had no chance of seeing it but it was nevertheless a pleasing observation, and is a new species for my life list. From Wicken we headed back to our holiday cabin and finished an enjoyable first day of our holiday.


10th - We went to Rutland Water this morning on a bright and mild October day, though first we stopped by at the sight of the Battle of Naseby which is just a few miles south west of our holiday cabin. Upon arriving in Rutland, Mum went to look around Oakham, whereas Dad and I went down to Egleton. The main highlight was my first observations of Egyptian Geese, apparently common here at Rutland but nevertheless of personal interest. Though the reserve didn’t live up to the high standards of our previous visit in December 2006, there were some good observations all the same, including Little Egrets, as well as a Green Woodpecker, a late singing Chiffchaff in the woods, a Kingfisher, and a very large number of Great Crested Grebes. In total forty two species were recorded.

11th - We visited a number of historic houses and monuments in the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire area. First stopped at Kirby Hall, near Corby, which is a very fine ruin of an Elizabethan Hall. The grounds are still very pleasant, and along the avenue there were loads of conkers, with some really good ones. From here we travelled down to Geddington, between Corby and Kettering, where there was an Eleanors Cross in the middle of the village. Finally we went on to the famous folly at Rushton Hall, an unusual triangular building covered in stone carvings of a largely religious nature. A pleasant and quiet day.


12th - Returned home today, taking the rural route through Lincolnshire.

14th, Millingtondale - A foggy walk in the Wolds with low cloud affecting areas above 100 metres. Flocks of Fieldfares were seen in the fields though, as these winter visitors begin to settle in.

18th - The first ground frost of this winter overnight.

19th - A Redwing seen in the garden today, the first of the year. A Treecreeper also seen in the garden today. Another ground frost overnight.

21st, Rosedale - Went Mountain Biking with Jenny and Andy in the beautiful area around Rosedale Abbey. Very enjoyable, made the better by the contrasting weather conditions on our route, with fog and frost in the dales, and clear blue skies on the higher areas. Lots of Red Grouse seen or heard, and some of the heather was still in flower. A fantastic morning.

25th - A Redwing seen in the garden.

26th - A female Blackcap seen at the bird bath twice today. The weather at the moment is very grey and dull, with cloud being fed in off the sea on an easterly breeze which is being caused by High Pressure sitting over the North Sea.

27th - Two Redwings seen today. The Blackbirds have started to eat the Cotoneaster berries in the garden, and the Thrushes & Wood Pigeons are starting to get on with the Hawthorn berries.

28th - A lone Redwing was seen on the lawn this afternoon, and indeed there are lots of thrushes around at the moment with many Blackbirds, up to four Song Thrushes, and Mistle thrushes in the area.


Deepdale (Calliswold) - An enjoyable walk in this fine valley, though Dad and I got completely soaked and visibility was poor as we were up amongst the clouds. Despite this the autumn colours of the Larch & Beech are now at their best, and if anything the mist and rain added to the interest of the scene. Lots of Fieldfares in the valley scrubs and on our return up the valley a skein of geese passed over our heads, flying quite low, no doubt because of the mist. A jolly fine morning.

29th - Golden Plovers & Fieldfares were heard in the Parks area this morning.

30th - A fox seen out in the fields this morning.


North Cave Wetlands - Went to North Cave this morning on a beautiful autumns day. A couple of Whooper Swans were the main highlight of the day, but there was also a Stonechat in the wild field, and the Bar headed Goose was again seen amongst the Greylag geese. A good number of Snipe observed, and twelve species of wildfowl were represented around the reserve. In the trees I also saw a few Redwings, a species which seems to be very apparent already this year. A very good morning with 49 species spotted.

31st - A Treecreeper seen in the garden today. Quite mild as well today with a maximum of over 15 C.