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September 2010

1st (Wed) 6.3 C to 20.9 C / trace / 10.0 hours / SE 1.7 knots
A sunny and chilly start to the day but quickly warming up as the sun rose. Remaining largely sunny for the remainder of the day, though high cloud would increase through the day making the sunshine a little hazy by mid afternoon. Warm with the temperature climbing to nearly 70 degrees. Mid level clouds moving in during the evening and night, and therefore much milder than recent nights, and for a time the cloud was thick enough for just a bit of very light rain which barely dampened the ground. A very light mist forming around dawn.

A lovely start to the autumn season with a red sun rising over the countryside, and attractive Cirrus and Cirrocumulus in the sky above. A faint sun dog was also observed to the left of the sun as it rose, with just a hint of iridescence. In the stubble fields a few Grey Partridge’s were heard calling, while passing overhead were Lapwings, and a small flock of calling Golden Plovers, a real sound of the changing seasons. In the hedgerows and small woods leaf warblers continue to be heard, and in the far northern field along Long Lane a couple of Roe deer were spotted this morning.


Back home in the garden a Painted Lady butterfly was spotted on the last of the buddleia blooms, my first recording of this variable species in 2010. I did think this species was going to go un-recorded this year, so the observation was most welcome, and in total I have managed to record 23 species of butterfly this year, not bad at all for a county north of the Humber. The warm sunshine this afternoon also made it good conditions for other butterflies, with species seen fluttering around the garden today including Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Whites, & Holly Blue.


2nd (Thu) 10.9 C to 19.1 C / nil / 7.5 hours / E 1.7 knots
A cloudy morning with extensive altocumulus drifting over on a light northerly flow, though there were some breaks which allowed some brighter periods from time to time. However by mid-day the cloud broke up and quickly cleared away, leaving a clement and pleasant afternoon with temperatures a near perfect 65 F. Remaining clear in the evening and for most of the night, though mist and latterly fog began to form by the end of the night, becoming quite thick by dawn.

3rd (Fri) 8.5 C to 19.5 C / nil / 8.5 hours / SE 1.4 knots
A foggy start to the day, the visibility generally around 400 to 200 metres, though there were some denser patches locally where visibility was reduced to as less as 100 metres. Quickly lifting though, and by mid morning the sunshine broke through with the remainder of the day seeing largely clear skies, with just some attractive areas of cirrus high in the blue autumn sky. Remaining clear for most of the evening and night, but fog would again form by dawn.

The morning fog created some attractive autumnal scenes around the garden, with the berries covered in glistening beads of water, and the spider webs likewise bedecked in natures temporary and delicate liquid jewels.


4th (Sat) 6.3 C to 19.5 C / nil / 4.3 hours / SE 2.7 knots
A foggy start, though not as thick as yesterday, and quickly clearing away to leave a largely sunny and pleasant morning, with just some attractive cirrus in the otherwise blue sky. However as the afternoon progressed a veil of cirrostratus and then altostratus moved in, so that by mid afternoon it had become cloudy, though the sun did remain visible through the cloud layer until evening. Remaining cloudy for most of the night, though it remained dry, and indeed by dawn the cloud began to break and clear, with the breeze also freshening around the same time.

5th (Sun) 13.5 C to 19.7 C / nil / 8.5 hours / SE 6.8 knots
A warm and sunny morning, the day beginning with patches of altocumulus being lit up by the rising sun, and quite breezy too with a moderate SE breeze. Somewhat cloudier for a time in the second half of the morning, with extensive areas of stratocumulus, but by noon this began to clear with the rest of the afternoon seeing plenty of sunny spells. Indeed after 3 pm it became increasingly clear and would remain so through the evening and indeed night. Breezy throughout the day, with the moderate SE breeze holding temperatures up during the night.

Huggatedales
Today we did a slightly different walk to the normal route in this wonderful complex of deep and hidden dales which lie right in the heart of the high Wolds. Firstly we made our way along the Wayrham road and then turned right along a farm road before then turning right again and down into the deep dale of Horsedale which made up the majority of our walk. This wonderful dale which is largely unbothered by other ramblers is a joy to wander through and explore, with the dalesides still covered in flowering harebells, along with hawkbit, and some lingering patches of ragwort and knapweed.

A month ago I expect this would have been a great area for butterflies, though today very few were seen what with the blustery SE breeze. However some species seen were noted, including Whites, and Small Heath’s. In general the countryside was very quiet today however, the aforementioned breeze partly contributing to this, though I do always think that this period of the year is a quiet one when nature takes a short break after the rigours of raising young, and begins to slowly fatten up in preparation for the coming hard times which are just a few months away.


However for the local farmers things are far from quiet, and indeed most have taken advantage of this weeks fine weather to complete the wheat harvest, as not one field was seen uncut this morning. Indeed most have already been bailed and many farmers were busy collecting these in, what with a forecast of heavy rain to come on Monday night and Tuesday. In the hedgerows the berries are now largely ripe, with abundant haws especially, and in the next fortnight the elderberries should join them as many are now just about ripe up here on the high Wolds (they are ready for picking already around Beverley). Towards the end of our walk we passed some attractive fruiting Swedish Whitebeams and in their shadow some late flowering Herb Robert was seen, the attractive small pink flowers adding some pleasing colour to an otherwise tired countryside.


6th (Mon) 13.4 C to 19.6 C / 23.9 mm / 6.1 hours / SE 8.4 knots
A clear and breezy morning, with a real warmth on the freshening SE breeze, which by the afternoon would become strong with some gusts in excess of 30 knots. High cloud also increasing from mid day onwards, with cirrostratus replaced by altostratus by 2 pm, this continuing to thicken through the afternoon with the sun eventually being obscured by evening. Rain eventually moving in around 11 pm, and becoming persistent and heavy, peaking at 15.6 mm/h, and giving a total of 23.9 mm (0.94 inches) in about six hours. This made today the wettest day of the year thus far. The rain clearing away after 5 am and the breeze also becoming light, with overcast skies and murk forming by dawn.

A flock of about fifty Golden Plovers was seen circling over the Parks again this morning. In the hedgerows the Elderberries are now just about ripe, or at least about half are, and all along the hedges the red fruits of the haws are seen in great abundance.


North Cliffe Wood
Went blackberry picking again this afternoon, on what was a very windy early autumn day, the wind crashing in the trees above and even a tree heard ‘cracking’ at one point. The wind was bringing quite a few leaves down already, with golden leaves now appearing amongst the birches in particular, though the avenue of roadside limes are also beginning to turn and show some colour. Nuts were also falling, with hazelnuts seen in good numbers on the ground, as well as a few unripe acorns. In nearby fields the wind was lifting soil up so that a sort of ‘fen blow’ was filling the air with dust, with visibility particularly poor as a result, and in any bare fields in particular it was like a dust storm at times, as the dry south east wind lifted the dust to well above head height, making for a scene more akin to outback Australia than our pleasant and usually green isle.


Still despite the wind, and in the shelter of the wood a good number of speckled wood butterflies were seen, with maybe up to a dozen seen today, while out on the heath a blue butterfly was briefly spotted, along with a blue coloured hawker dragonfly. On the heath a Green Woodpecker was also seen and heard briefly, and it is here that the heather is now subtly flowering, providing interest to the otherwise brown and dry earth. In the damper areas of the wood some fungi were noted today also, most of which are beyond my identification skills. All in all a very enjoyable afternoon of fruit picking in this peaceful and quiet corner of the county.


7th (Tue) 13.5 C to 19.2 C / 0.2 mm / 2.9 hours / SE 2.1 knots
A grey and murky start, the local area very wet after last nights heavy rain. A lot of twigs and leaves on the ground too from yesterdays strong winds. Becoming slowly brighter as the morning progressed, with sunny spells developing by midday, and remaining bright with sunny spells for most of the afternoon. However a few light showers would develop by the end of the afternoon and continue into the evening, but they came to very little and brought nothing more than cloud and a little dampness. Remaining largely cloudy overnight and mild as a result. Much less breezy today.

Picked elderberries this morning, which had been washed by last nights rain. On the way there I had a quick look for conkers and though many fell in yesterdays winds and the overnight rain, very few are ripe yet with the conkers inside still largely white and at least a week away from being ready.

8th (Wed) 12.4 C to 18.5 C / nil / 1.3 hours / SE 1.2 knots
A grey and misty start to the day, indeed in some rural areas such as the Parks it was just about thick enough to be classed as a light fog. However by mid morning it became brighter with the rest of the day seeing fairly cloudy but nevertheless bright skies, with some sunny spells at times. By the end of the afternoon it became cloudy again though, with extensive altostratus invading, and this would remain for most of the evening and the first half of the night. However breaks would develop later overnight, allowing some mist to form by dawn.

A late singing Chiffchaff was heard at Keldmarsh this morning. In the afternoon I trimmed the eastern shrubs in the garden, and while doing so I noticed that the Yew is now covered in abundant red berries, much as it is every year. The holly berries, which are still weeks away from ripening, seem plentiful this year, as are the berries of the Cottoneaster, which is now decked in red fruits. I also noticed that the first Inkcap has just appeared on the lawn, though at the moment it is barely a centimetre tall. In the evening a hedgehog was seen again snuffling around the lawn.

9th (Thu) 10.4 C to 20.7 C / 3.8 mm / 7.9 hours / NW 2.6 knots
A misty start to the day again, but it would soon clear leaving a sunny and pleasant autumn morning. However after midday cumulus congestus (and some cumulonimbus) would bubble up, this producing the odd sharp shower (peaking at 14.0 mm/h). These dying out and clearing by evening and becoming mostly clear for the first half of the night, though cloud would increase again later with rain moving in just prior to dawn.

North Cave Wetlands
Paid a visit to the wetlands at North Cave this afternoon, our first since late December last year when the reserve was frozen over and covered in a layer of lovely crisp snow. The reserve was very busy in terms of birdlife, though about 80% of this was made up of just a few species, with abundant numbers of Greylag Geese, Starlings, and Lapwings all around the reserve. However there were plenty of other more interesting sights around though, with good numbers of one of my favourite birds, the snipe in the shallows, a couple of Wigeon, two juvenile migrating Ruff, and perhaps most interesting of all a pair of Black Swans. Having visited so little this year I don’t know how long these two feral swans have been present on the reserve but nevertheless it was interesting to see them in this peaceful corner of the East Riding, which is certainly very different from their homeland of western Australia, and it was made even more interesting by the fact that the resident Mute Swan‘s didn‘t seem to care much for their presence in there patch.


Other birds seen included good numbers of Gadwall, many Teal, all of which seemed to be still in eclipse, quite a few Mallards, the odd Shoveler, whom like the Teal were still boring and brown, some Tufted ducks, the odd Pochard, many Little Grebes, about four or so Great Crested Grebes, and two Cormorants, while out in the local fields many pigeons & doves were feeding, including some stock doves. The reserve itself is now getting along with the planned expansion, with part of the future wet grassland now already landscaped with creeks and banks cut into what had been gravel pits only months ago. When the reserve is completed some time around 2015 it should be a fantastic local attraction and should attract birders from throughout the country.

10th (Fri) 11.4 C to 21.0 C / 5.1 mm / 2.5 hours / SW 2.8 knots
A wet start to the day with persistent moderate rain prior to 9 am, but thereafter it became more intermittent and would clear away by mid morning. Sunny spells managing to break through after midday, with the rest of the afternoon seeing a mixture of sunny spells and cloudier periods. Becoming unpleasantly muggy in the afternoon too, with dew points in the high teens. Cloud increasing again in the evening, this continuing to thicken through the night with outbreaks of moderate, occasionally heavy rain after midnight (peaking at 9.2 mm/h). Becoming lighter, more drizzly, and more intermittent by the end of the night however. Very warm overnight too with a low of just 16.2 C.

The local Horse Chestnuts are now widely beginning to turn, with gold and red tints seen along the Westwood avenue and in the trees surrounding the house. In the garden the Crab apple also has quite a few golden leaves now.

11th (Sat) 16.2 C to 20.8 C / 0.4 mm / 1.8 hours / SW 3.3 knots
A grey and drizzly morning, though very warm and muggy feeling with dew points in the mid to high teens. The drizzle soon clearing after 10 am though, and slowly becoming brighter with some sunny spells managing to break through by midday, this making it feel even more muggy. Unsurprisingly showers would develop in the afternoon, and though most were very brief they were nevertheless quite heavy at times. The showers would die away in the evening and it would gradually become largely clear overnight.

12th (Sun) 12.3 C to 19.4 C / 1.1 mm / 5.0 hours / NW 3.9 knots
A clear and sunny morning, felling fresher than recently with a gentle to moderate westerly breeze. However as the morning progressed cloud would bubble up, and after midday it would become largely cloudy. The cloud thick enough for the odd short shower in the afternoon, with one heavy one around 3 pm peaking at 9.8 mm/h. The cloud clearing & breaking by evening and becoming largely clear for the first half of the night, though cloud would increase again later.

Garrowby Hill & Kirby Underdale
On a sunny and breezy morning we did a walk in what is probably the most beautiful area of the Wolds, which is also home to its highest point at Garrowby Hill. The view over the Vale, with York Minster gleaming in the sun and standing proudly above the fertile fields, with the high Pennines looming distantly in the west, and the Moors, Clevelands, & Hambletons to the north is to me one of the finest in the realm of England, and today was particularly attractive with a patchwork of green, golden, and brown fields, with dark green woods dotted throughout the landscape. There is also plenty of interesting historical sights to behold from this high hill, with Castle Howard obvious in the heart of the Howardian Hills, the ruins of Sheriff Hutton castle to the north west, the hill top community of Easingwold beyond that, the White Horse at Kilburn, the aforementioned York Minster to the west, and the ‘golf-balls’ of Menwith Hill yet further to the west near Harrogate. I don’t think I could ever tire of this wonderful view and the people of this quiet corner of the nation must consider themselves so lucky to live in such an unspoilt and still largely unknown area.


However apart from the outstanding views the morning was actually quite uneventful, with highlights restricted to a few Buzzards here and there, and small flocks of finches in the stubble fields, though along the wood above Kirby Underdale there were lots of Speckled Wood butterflies on the wing, with certainly the most I’ve seen in one single place this year, or perhaps at any date, with probably at least twenty to thirty seen along the woodland edge. A few other butterflies were seen on the wing too, with whites, and small tortoiseshell’s seen, and their diminishing numbers are reflected in the decreasing number and variety of flowers, with just a few harebells and such like here and there in the grasslands, and some late herb robert in the woodlands.


Back at home in the evening I took advantage of the clear skies to view Jupiter rising in the south east sky, though I have to wait until at least 9 pm when it rises high enough to be seen above the Copper Beech in the garden. The view was very good, despite a slight veil of high cloud and light pollution from Beverley, and I was able to easily see the four Galilean moons, and the north equatorial belt on the planet itself. The moons were aligned so that Io & Europa were close to each other to the left of the planet, with Ganymede more distant on the same side, while Callisto was quite distant to the right. While out viewing this beautiful astronomical sight I saw a couple of shooting stars too, with one seen very well streaking out of Ursa Major and heading towards    the northern horizon.


13th (Mon) 11.7 C to 17.8 C / 3.2 mm / 1.0 hours / SW 4.2 knots
A cloudy morning, with a few drops of rain in the air, but this would soon clear and it would become brighter by mid morning with some weak sunshine for a time. However cloud would again increase by midday with outbreaks of largely light rain moving in for most of the afternoon, though it did become drier again by evening. Remaining overcast overnight, with more outbreaks of rain later, and very mild with a low of just 16.1 C.

14th (Tue) 16.1 C to 18.9 C / 1.4 mm / 5.9 hours / W 6.5 knots
A warm and muggy morning, with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle at times. However after midday this would quickly clear and it would become sunny for most of the afternoon, though with the clearance came a wind shift from the SW to the NW, as well as an increase in the wind speed with some quite strong gusts between 2 pm and 5 pm (max. 31 knots). It also became fresher feeling. Variable amounts of cloud overnight, with some showers at times, but later some decent clear spells developed allowing a much cooler night than recently.

The garden birds are increasingly busy in the garden at the moment, with the feeding station attracting a good variety of species, including the return of the Great Spotted Woodpecker‘s, while the heavily fruiting Yews are attracting many thrushes, including a healthy number of Song Thrushes. On the lawn the worm-casts are now becoming ever more apparent, while the Inkcaps seem to have come to nothing this year, though they weren’t helped by the squirrels whom destroyed them before they had a chance to get going.

15th (Wed) 9.5 C to 15.8 C / nil / 1.8 hours / W 6.5 knots
An initially clear start but cloud would quickly increase, accompanied by a freshening west-south-westerly breeze. However bar the odd drop of rain it didn’t come to much, and by noon some breaks would develop, allowing some fleeting sunny spells in the afternoon. Remaining blustery however, with gusts up to gale force (34 knots), and quite cool with the temperature rising to a modest high of 15.8 C (60.4 F). Becoming clearer by evening and remaining largely clear overnight, bar some broken areas of altocumulus. Cool with the breeze also easing overnight.

The Conkers are now ready on the Westwood, the gusty wind yesterday bringing a good number down. Conkers most surely be one of the most beautiful objects in the natural world, especially when fresh, and I always look forward to picking up my first of the season every autumn.


16th (Thu) 9.5 C to 15.4 C / 1.4 mm / 6.0 hours / NW 4.9 knots
A clear and fresh start to the day, with a gentle to moderate north westerly breeze. However cloud would increase by late morning, and indeed it became quite threatening for a time, but this came to nothing and sunny spells developed after midday. However in mid afternoon some sharp showers did develop, with a heavy one around 4 pm peaking at 37.6 mm/h, and as this shower concluded the sun came out and illuminated the rain drops, which gave them a lovely golden glow. Any remaining showers and cloud clearing by mid evening and becoming largely clear overnight. Becoming quite chilly as a result, the thermometer falling to 6.8 C.

A Hedgehog was seen snuffling around the lawn during the middle of the day today, and at one point was seen drinking from the bird bath. It was certainly a different a Hedgehog from the one seen earlier in the month, as this was much larger and judging by its slow movements much older. Also of interest today was the report of a skein of geese by my father, and though he couldn’t identify them there is a good chance that they were wild ones on migration as the timing is about right, and the wind has become north westerly.


17th (Fri) 6.8 C to 13.6 C / nil / 5.5 hours / NW 3.9 knots
A clear and chilly start to the day, made to feel that bit colder by a moderate north-westerly breeze. However like most recent days cloud would increase by the end of the morning, with the rest of the day seeing variable amounts of extensive stratocumulus, with some occasional sunny spells during any breaks. A cool day, with a distinct chill on the breeze, with a very modest high of just 13.6 C (56.5 F). Cloud clearing in the evening, and under the clear skies it would become quite chilly overnight with a low of 6.1 C, though invading high cloud later did prevent temperatures from falling any lower by dawn. Lovely autumnal feel to the air.

A flock of at least 50 Plovers flew over the house around 7 am, probably from the Swinemoor roost. In the garden a couple of leaf warblers were seen in the Hawthorn, and the feeding station remains quite busy at the moment with a good variety of species seen frequently feeding either on it or beneath it.

18th (Sat) 6.1 C to 15.6 C / 1.8 mm / 3.9 hours / W 3.8 knots
A bright and chilly start, but cloud would increase from mid morning onwards and by afternoon it became largely cloudy, though there were some occasional breaks allowing some pleasant autumn sunshine. Not as cool as yesterday, with temperatures a very pleasant sixty degrees, perfect for getting out into the garden. Becoming generally grey and overcast by the end of the afternoon, indeed thick enough for some drops of rain at times, and remaining largely cloudy for the rest of the evening and indeed night, though there was a clearer spell around midnight. Milder than last night.

While out in the garden cutting back the shrubs along the northern wall of the garden, I discovered a very large frog in the undergrowth, and at one point I was joined by a pair of Bullfinches in the trees above me. However the main highlight of the afternoon was the sighting of two skeins of Pink footed Geese heading southwards, with the first containing about fifty birds, and the second sixty to seventy. A beautiful sight and a real reminder of the changing seasons and the winter ahead.

19th (Sun) 10.2 C to 14.6 C / 7.1 mm / nil / SW 3.7 knots
An overcast start with rain moving in around 7 am, becoming persistent for much of the morning and continuing into the afternoon. Never particularly heavy and instead a good gentle rain, which should soak into the earth well. Becoming drier by the end of the afternoon, though it would remain cloudy through the evening, and indeed much of the night. There were some showers around 1 and 3 am but these didn’t come to much, and by the end of the night the cloud began to break and clear. A mild night.

20th (Mon) 12.9 C to 18.4 C / trace / 6.4 hours / W 3.0 knots
A bright start to the day with a mixed sky of various stratiform types, but cloud would increase by mid day with a short spell of rain around noon. However this soon cleared and the cloud would break up in the afternoon with some good sunny spells developing. Much warmer today with a high of 18.4 C. Remaining largely clear into the evening with clear spells overnight, though variable amounts of cloud did increase later.

Nidderdale Show, Pateley Bridge
Today my father and I attended the agricultural show at Pateley Bridge, the last major country event of the year in Yorkshire and one of the finest quality and highest attended shows throughout the realm of England. The weather today was somewhat undecisive with showers of rain and then warm bright sunshine, but nevertheless the show was very enjoyable and very well attended yet again. The livestock was of the highest quality, with cattle and sheep particularly well represented in this upland farming community, though others animals on show included pigs, goats, ducks, geese, cockerels, chickens, pigeons, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, and finally horses. There were also demonstrations of dry stone walling, and wood carving, and machinery from both the past and modern day. In the produce tents there were fine displays of vegetables, and alike, with a particularly good hay display this year, reflecting the fine start to the summer we had back in May, June, and early July. However by early afternoon the crowds started to become unpleasant and so we decided to head for home, ending a very enjoyable trip into this lovely corner of the dales.


21st (Tue) 11.0 C to 20.9 C / nil / 5.8 hours / SW 0.7 knots
A fine sunrise started the day this morning, the red rising sun illuminating the underside of a layer of altocumulus revealing the subtle structures and shapes on the surface of the cloud. The rest of the morning would see plenty of good sunshine, and with no wind (not a breath was recorded between 6 am and 10.30 am) it felt very warm. Remaining bright into the afternoon, though cumulus would bubble up and by mid afternoon it became largely cloudy and would remain so for the rest of the day. Remaining overcast overnight, and as a consequence it was a very mild night, the temperature falling to just 12.4 C. However some breaks developed prior to dawn, this encouraging a light mist to form.

Much of the drilling for next years crops has now been completed in the Parkland fields, with the lovely brown and relatively stone free soil looking at its best with the neat straight lines left behind by the drills and harrows. The local hedgerows are still full of fruit and alike, with Elderberries, Haws, and Hips particularly apparent, though undoubtedly blackberries are now beyond there best, though this is to be expected with Michaelmas just a week away now. A Roe deer was spotted this morning as well, and overhead the now familiar soft-whistling calls of Golden Plovers were heard. In the garden the Ivy is now coming into blossom, with this in turn attracting hordes of insects, including bees, wasps, hoverflies, and butterflies. Amongst the species of butterfly seen feeding on the blooms were large numbers of both Comma’s and Red Admiral’s, two species which usually reach there peak numbers in the garden during this last great natural banquet of the year.


22nd (Wed) 12.4 C to 20.5 C / trace / 5.0 hours / SW 1.3 knots
A largely grey and murky morning, but as the morning progressed it would become gradually brighter with sunshine breaking through just prior to noon. Remaining largely sunny for much of the afternoon, and with largely light winds again it felt very warm with temperatures climbing in excess of 20 C. However in the evening cloud would again increase and it would thicken overnight with some bits and pieces of light rain later. A very mild night too, with a minimum of just 13.7 C.

A Barn Owl was seen hunting over the Parkland fields this morning. Back at home a couple of shaggy Parasol Mushrooms are coming out in the wood separating our residential area from the school to the south. I have never seen these wonderful looking mushrooms growing in this area before but there presence is both very welcome and pleasing.

23rd (Thu) 13.7 C to 19.0 C / 22.8 mm / 3.2 hours / SW 3.3 knots
An overcast start to the day, with some outbreaks of largely light rain, but it became brighter as the morning progressed with weak hazy sunshine breaking through by 10 am. By midday it was largely clear with some good spells of warm sunshine for the first half of the afternoon, but after 4 pm cloud would again increase and by 6 pm the sky looked very threatening and menacing to the west. Indeed a spell of heavy rain would move through shortly afterwards, accompanied by a few flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, with the rain rate peaking at 31.0 mm/h. Becoming drier again for a time but further heavy outbreaks of rain would follow overnight, with some more occasional rumbles of thunder. By the end of the night a longer spell of heavy and persistent rain set in, and by the end of the meteorological day at 9 am nearly 23 mm’s (0.90 inches) of rain had been recorded, making this the second wettest day of the year thus far (see the 6th of September).

A pair of Tree Sparrow’s were seen at the feeding station today, though many of the resident birds didn’t care for there presence for some reason, especially one very aggressive Blackbird. This is only the second record for this species in the garden, the other coming last year on the 13th November when a single bird was observed. Also seen in the garden today was a Treecreeper, the first garden record for this elusive species this year.


24th (Fri) 10.4 C to 12.2 C / trace / 0.8 hours / N 8.0 knots
A very wet start to the day with persistent heavy rain prior to 7 am, the rain rate peaking at 24.6 mm/h. This caused a lot of standing water around the local area, with small areas of largely minor flooding along many local roads. By 7 am the rain began to ease, though outbreaks of light to moderate rain would continue for much of the morning, and it also became quite windy for a time, with some strong northerly gusts of up to 30 knots. Slowly becoming brighter in the afternoon, with some brief sunny spells breaking through at times, but despite this it was a chilly day for the time of year, the thermometer rising to just 12.2 C (54.0 F), a new station record lowest maximum for September. The cloud continuing to break in the evening with clear spells developing overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall away to 6 C, though it would have been colder no doubt if it wasn’t for the moderate north west breeze (wind chill down to 3 C).

25th (Sat) 6.0 C to 12.5 C / trace / 8.1 hours / NW 8.1 knots
A clear and sunny start, with a distinct chill on the autumn air. Remaining bright for much of the day, though in the afternoon there was more in the way of cloud, it drifting down from north-north-west on a moderate, occasionally fresh breeze, which made it feel that bit cooler again as temperatures again struggled to an unseasonably low high of 12.5 C (54.5 F). Variable amounts of cloud at first overnight, but more general cloud moved in from the north later, bringing with it occasional outbreaks of light rain and drizzle.

26th (Sun) 8.2 C to 13.2 C / 4.5 mm / nil / N 5.9 knots
A grey and chilly morning, with occasional spots of rain and drizzle on the moderate northerly breeze. Remaining dull for the remainder of the day, and though it became largely dry for much of the day, outbreaks of drizzly rain returned after 3 pm. Overcast in the evening and overnight, and as the wind turned into the north east around 11 pm more heavy and persistent rain set in for a time, though it became largely dry again by dawn, bar some spots of drizzle. A mild night.

The recent rain have brought a lot of conkers down around the local area recently, and indeed beneath the Horse Chestnut tree outside the west front of the Minster it is quite slippery with the conkers and there shells (and indeed quite a few leaves already) covering the road and pavement. Back home in the garden a male Sparrowhawk was seen plucking a Collared dove in the garden during the evening.

27th (Mon) 11.0 C to 13.0 C / 0.9 mm / nil / NE 1.7 knots
A dull and overcast morning with occasional outbreaks of light drizzle. Much warmer feeling though, despite the fact the breeze was from the north east, though this would become increasingly light as the day wore on, becoming almost calm by the evening. The afternoon would remain grey and murky, with some heavier periods of drizzle at times which saw visibility drop to almost fog levels. Remaining overcast, murky and drizzly in the evening and overnight, this meaning another mild night with temperatures falling to just 12.3 C, just 0.7 C lower than the daytime high.

28th (Tue) 12.3 C to 15.3 C / 2.9 mm / 0.1 hours / SE 1.0 knots
A grey and murky morning, with occasional outbreaks of light drizzle on the still autumn air. Indeed not a breath of wind was recorded between 5 am and 6 pm today. Remaining largely grey and overcast all day, though it did become somewhat brighter for a short time in the middle of the day, with the sun even breaking through very briefly. However by evening the cloud thickened again with outbreaks of drizzle returning, these continuing for the remainder of the night and indeed become quite persistent and heavy by the end of the night. The breeze also picked up overnight.

29th (Wed) 12.7 C to 15.7 C / 8.6 mm / nil / SE 2.5 knots
A thoroughly wet and grey morning with persistent moderate drizzle and generally murky conditions. Becoming drier by the middle of the day, though it would remain dull and grey throughout the day, with spells of rain and drizzle returning again in the late afternoon. Indeed it became thoroughly wet and dank during the evening, the rain quite heavy for a time (7.2 mm/h), though it would begin to clear by midnight, with the cloud also beginning to break and clear. Cooler as a result under the clearing skies, with a very heavy dew by dawn.

30th (Thu) 8.0 C to 15.9 C / 0.5 mm / 7.3 hours / NW 1.6 knots
A clear and bright morning, a real rarity in the last week, though everything was very wet after yesterdays rain and a very heavy overnight dew. Remaining sunny for much of the day, though as the afternoon progressed cloud amounts would increase, and indeed by the end of the afternoon it had become largely cloudy. Remaining generally cloudy overnight, and by the end of the night the cloud became thick enough for some largely light rain.

Thought I heard some Redwings passing overhead the area this morning, though I wasn’t 100% certain as I didn’t actually see any birds overhead. In general the local thrushes were very busy this morning, with Blackbirds and Song Thrushes eating the abundant Yew berries, while noisy Mistle Thrushes were heard in the nearby trees. Overhead the Swallows seem to have now left, heading to their winter feeding grounds in Africa, with just the occasional late straggler seen from time to time.

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