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October 2008

1st - Three foxes seen playing in the fields this morning, totally oblivious to my presence for a few minutes. They no doubt caused some of the damage to the crop earlier in the year before the harvest. In the drilled fields a few Lapwing’s were seen.

2nd, North Cave Wetlands - Another quiet afternoon at our local reserve, though I think these afternoon visits are far from ideal compared to morning or evening visits. Nothing of any real note today, though hirundines were seen in good numbers, largely Martins. Teal numbers continuing to increase and amongst the numerous Greylag geese was a hybrid Bar headed Goose.

3rd - A Greylag goose flew over the house in late afternoon.

6th - A flock of Lapwing’s seen to the east around dusk.

9th, North Cave Wetlands - An afternoon visit, and again largely quiet. A Buzzard was seen to the north, and on the reserve proper a late Swallow was spotted, and also heard was a late leaf warbler. A Stock dove seen out in the fields, and on the edge of the lagoons there were quite a few Snipe about, though so far waders have been very poorly represented this autumn, at North Cave at least anyway. A total of 40 species counted today.

12th, Wharram Percy - Went on a lovely autumnal walk in the Wharram Percy area, on a grey and murky day. We walked along the railway line up to the village, stopping to look at the abandoned tunnel, and admiring the still functioning culverts and drains, whose brick structure is still in fine condition. We then made our way up the dale to the abandoned village, and then came around over the Wold top and back round to the car park. Not much wildlife about, much of it hidden by the fog, though a Buzzard was seen at the quarry, and a small herd of Exmoor ponies were seen down at the bottom of the valley. Lots of Red legged Partridges on the high fields also. A less welcome observation was the discovery of a dead Badger, though it’s interesting to know that Badgers can be found in this area.

14th, Flamborough & Bridlington - Went to the coast this afternoon, having fish and chips at North Landing. Despite rain, drizzle, and mist it was most pleasant, and the fog horn at Flamborough Head could be heard in the distance. We then drove back through Bridlington and on the south beach Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Dunlins, Redshanks, & Sanderlings were seen on the shoreline. An enjoyable afternoon.

16th - A few flocks of thrushes flew over today, heading inland, and probably newly arrived winter thrushes from Europe.

17th - Heard Redwing’s passing overhead today.

18th - Some late hirundines were seen today, heading southwards.

20th - A fantastic sunrise this morning with the rising sun lighting up the underside of invading altostratus and altocumulus.

21st - Lapwing’s out in the fields this morning.

22nd - A Redwing was seen in the garden today, the first of the autumn.

Castle Howard - Visited the arboretum at Castle Howard for the first time, which was most pleasant, though not particularly colourful yet, bar the acers, maples, and Beech’s. Some Redwings were seen on the walk, and many other typical woodland birds were seen and heard, including a Jay. In the car park a Treecreeper was spotted, as was a Nuthatch, a very pleasing observation of a bird I see very little of. I fine day out in a beautiful area of the world, on a most pleasant day.

27th - Some Mute Swan’s flew over the area at 7 am this morning.

28th, North Cave Wetlands - Went on a late afternoon trip to our local reserve, on a chilly and almost wintry day. Lots more about now as a result with wildfowl now the dominant group. Loads of Greylag geese, and the largest number of Canada geese I’ve seen in one place. Amongst them was a lone Bar headed goose, and a single Pink footed goose was also picked out feeding in the fields to the north of the reserve. Teal numbers vastly increased to at least fifty plus, and a pair of Wigeon were also seen. Shoveler numbers also appear greater, as do Mallards, & Tufted ducks. Gadwall, Pochard, & Mute Swans complete the wildfowl list. Redshanks have now made a welcome return and a flock of Golden Plovers were seen overhead. Snipe still widely apparent. The Green Woodpecker was seen three times and a single Siskin was seen in the north west corner of the reserve. However the most unusual observation was an unseasonal Little Egret which was beside the Main Lake. A great afternoons birding with forty nine species in all.

29th - Six Golden Plover’s flew over at 7 am, and two Fieldfares were briefly seen in the Beech this morning. The day had begun with a frost, with a low of -1.5 C, and during the day it rose no higher than 6.3 C.

30th - After another frosty start (-2 C), there were a couple of Redwing’s seen in the garden.

North Cave Wetlands - Went on a dawn trip this time on another cold day, with some heavy rain latterly. Not much change since the 28th with still loads of geese, though no Pink feet were seen today. However to the south towards the Humber a very large cloud of geese were seen heading ENE, possibly Pink feet from Whitton sands or Alkborough. Ducks still very well represented and the Green Woodpecker was again seen. Also observed was a Kingfisher on one of the branches right outside the southern hide. Red legged Partridges seen in the fields to the west, and a Kestrel was seen hunting early. An interesting morning with forty eight species noted.

31st - Fieldfares heard in the Parks this morning.