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October 2010

1st (Fri) 9.5 C to 14.0 C / 19.5 mm / nil / SE 2.0 knots
An overcast morning with occasional outbreaks of rain, with a freshening south east wind too. The rain becoming increasingly heavy and persistent going into the afternoon, the rain rate peaking at 13.8 mm/h, and over 12 mm’s being recorded between 2 pm and 6 pm. Becoming lighter by evening and eventually clearing by 8 pm, though it would remain cloudy for much of the night. However breaks did develop later, this allowing temperatures to fall to 7.0 C.

A late singing Chiffchaff was heard in the garden this morning, while overhead a few House Martins were seen, probably fleeing southwards from the inclement conditions which swept across the country today.

2nd (Sat) 7.0 C to 14.5 C / 4.1 mm / 4.5 hours / SE 0.8 knots
A bright start with a chaotic mix of mid and high level clouds in the sky, and the ground very wet and damp after yesterdays rain. The rest of the day would see variable amounts of cloud, though in late morning and early afternoon there were decent spells of pleasant October sunshine, which with the light winds today felt very pleasant after a few grey and wet days recently. Cloud increasing by evening however, with this continuing to thicken through the night with outbreaks of rain moving in after midnight.

3rd (Sun) 9.5 C to 15.9 C / 21.0 mm / nil / SE 1.3 knots
A wet morning with spells of heavy rain, peaking at 8.2 mm/h around 10 am. Easing for a time in the middle of the day, but further outbreaks of rain would return in the afternoon, becoming very heavy and persistent for a time around 5 pm with the rain rate peaking at 48.2 mm. In total 21.0 mm’s of rain was recorded today, and this October has begun on  a very wet note indeed. Eventually becoming drier by mid evening though, and remaining dry overnight with variable amounts of cloud. Becoming misty by dawn.

Today’s rain brought quite a few leaves down today, and there is no doubt that autumn is now in full swing with summer now passed for yet another year. On the front of the house the Virginia Creeper is now beginning to turn a lovely shade of red, while in the garden the Crab Apple is particularly colourful at the moment with a golden crown of leaves. The Cottoneaster berries are now ripe, and as usual are heavily cropping with an attractive spectacle provided by the rich red berries which seem to hang from every bow and branch.

4th (Mon) 8.2 C to 16.4 C / trace / 6.8 hours / SE 1.3 knots
A misty start to the morning, with the local area still very wet after yesterdays rain. However the early cloud and mist would soon clear and the rest of the day would be larger bright with plenty of long spells of pleasantly warm, golden autumnal sunshine. Clear spells at first overnight but cloud would increase later, thick enough for some very light rain for a time.

5th (Tue) 9.8 C to 17.6 C / 3.1 mm / 2.8 hours / SW 1.0 knots
A cloudy and mild morning but by 11 am it became brighter with some decent sunny spells developing by midday. However cloud would increase again by 1 pm and it would remain largely cloudy till late afternoon, when the cloud broke again and allowed some good sunny spells to end the day. Largely cloudy overnight, and mild as a result, with the cloud thickening up later brining outbreaks of rain by dawn.

Thought I heard more Redwings passing over the area this morning, though again I was unable to actually spot any birds to confirm my suspicions. In the warm sun around midday a few butterflies can still be seen on the wing in the garden, with the most common types now being those typical late season specialists the Comma’s and Red Admiral’s.

6th (Wed) 11.1 C to 15.7 C / 0.7 mm / 4.0 hours / SW 1.6 knots
A wet start to the day with outbreaks of light to moderate rain but by 11 am it had become dry and it would quickly brighten up with the cloud clearing eastwards allowing the sun to break through. The remainder of the day would see some good autumn sunshine, this really bringing out the golden hues of those trees currently in colour, and it was pleasantly warm with the temperature a perfect sixty degrees. Partly cloudy overnight though towards dawn most cloud cleared allowing temperatures to fall a bit and producing a very heavy dew.

7th (Thu) 7.0 C to 16.4 C / trace / 9.8 hours / SE 2.9 knots
A clear and sunny start, with a very heavy dew on the lawn after a fairly cool night which saw ground temperatures fall to 4 C. Remaining largely sunny for the remainder of the day, and all in all it was a very pleasant mid autumns day with temperatures a mild 16 C. Remaining largely clear through the evening and the first half of the night but cloud would move in from the south east later, bringing some drizzle and murk in off the sea.

Migrating Skylarks were heard and indeed seen passing overhead this morning, with at least three birds spotted and certainly far more heard. It may be worth doing a visible migration watch in the next few days as we are now reaching the peak of the seasonal avian movement.

8th (Fri) 9.0 C to 15.4 C / 0.3 mm / nil / SE 4.5 knots
A dull and grey day throughout with low cloud and murk in the morning and again in the evening. Indeed on the Wolds above Beverley visibility was below a mile for most of the day. Mild though with the south easterly breeze surprisingly warm. Remaining overcast and murky overnight with some drizzle.

A flock of Siskin’s were seen in the garden Ash trees this morning, with the current weather conditions (low cloud) and gentle east-south-easterly winds providing good conditions for bird migration. They were mixing with a flock of Goldfinches and feeding on the Ash keys. Further migrants were seen later in the morning with the first REDWING seen in the garden this autumn, it seen amongst the garden Yews where it was enjoying the abundant berries with the resident Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. This is the earliest date on my records that I have recorded a Redwing in the garden, beating last years date by six days.

North Cliffe Wood
A long anticipated walk in this wonderful little wood, one of my favourite parts of this whole county, and it was great to finally get out into the countryside after a few weeks confined to home. The weather was grey and murky with visibility in the Vale barely more than five miles though it was very mild feeling with a noticeable warmth on the moderate south easterly breeze. The wood is still largely green, with just some colour being provided by yellow leaves of the Silver Birches and the coppery dying back leaves of the abundant Ferns which cover much of the forest floor. However things are undoubtedly now dying back as the days get ever shorter and this helped to reveal the abundant mushrooms and toadstools which can be found throughout the wood and out on the heath.

The main highlight of the afternoon was the discovery of quite a few Fly Agaric’s which were at their best, as this, the toadstool of the fairy tales and famous for being deadly poisonous, is a toadstool I have long wanted to see growing wild but until today had eluded me. They are such beautiful objects, with the bright red flesh and contrasting white spots, and once my Dad and I got our eye in we must have found at least a dozen or so growing beside the footpaths. Throughout our walk we must have seen another dozen varieties of mushroom and toadstool at least, and though most are beyond my identification skills, there were a few I could name including Birch bracket, possibly Hygrophorus conicus, some lycoperdon perlatum, earth balls, a few types of puffball and perhaps most interestingly of all a lone Stinkhorn, another common and famous type of mushroom which had eluded me until today.

Away from the mushrooms the wood was largely quiet today, with just a few roving flocks of Long tailed tits and finches here and there, though out on the heath a juvenile Stonechat was spotted amongst the gorse scrub, and a Buzzard was seen hovering overhead. A few late butterflies and dragonflies were seen out on the heath as well. A wonderful autumn walk in this peaceful corner of the county.

9th (Sat) 13.1 C to 14.2 C / nil / nil / E 3.0 knots
A dull and grey day again with cloud being brought in off the North Sea, though it wasn’t as murky as yesterday. Still mild feeling despite the onshore breeze and indeed it felt much warmer than the 14.2 C maximum would suggest. Remaining cloudy for most of the night but the cloud would break up later and it would become largely clear by dawn.

A few Redwings were seen in the garden again today, and there calls were heard frequently both in the local woods and in the sky above.

10th (Sun) 11.7 C to 17.1 C / nil / 8.3 hours / NE 3.5 knots
A largely sunny and warm day, a pleasant change from the grey and murky conditions of the past couple of days, though in late afternoon there was more in the way of cloud, as patches of stratocumulus were brought in on off the sea on the gentle to moderate east north east breeze. Remaining largely cloudy in the evening and overnight, though there were some breaks and clearer spells from time to time.

Today we walked in the heart of the high Wolds on what was a warm and sunny day, indeed in the full sun it was very warm indeed and was more like summer than autumn. Upon arriving in the village we soon became aware of the presence of Redwings in the daleside hawthorn scrub above the village, and indeed for most of the walk these newly arrived winter visitors were heard fairly frequently in many areas, and were particularly prevalent in the thick scrub between Thixendale and Wharram Percy, where there seemed to be at least 50 or so taking advantage of the abundant berries which can be found there at the moment.

It was also in this area where a flock of about 80 to 100 Golden Plovers were seen and heard flying over the mix of stubble, ploughed, and already drilled fields which characterise the Wolds at the moment, and a late Comma butterfly was also seen, taking advantage of this late ‘little summer’, though there are now very few flowers for it to feed from, except perhaps ivy. However the woods and hedgerows are not entirely flowerless yet, with some late blooms of herb robert, campion, buttercup, hawksbit, and yarrow seen during the walk, and in general the trees are still largely green with just a hint of tint here and there, though in general the Wolds are never particularly good for autumn colour, except in some of the mixed beech and larch woods in areas such as Huggatewold Wood, Deepdale, and Warterdale.

Other interesting observations this morning included very good numbers of singing Skylarks, especially on the high cereal fields above Thixendale where they were seen squabbling, a large number of Red legged Partridges, many of which were calling loudly this morning, some good flocks of mixed finches in the covert crops, and the presence of Tree Sparrows in the scrub above Thixendale, a species of bird which is all too easily overlooked. A fine morning and just what one needed after weeks of being cooped up at home and in the relatively and increasingly busy, hectic, and urban world that is Beverley and its surrounds.

11th (Mon) 9.1 C to 13.0 C / nil / 1.4 hours / NE 3.7 knots
A largely cloudy morning, though it was fairly bright as there were quite a few wholes in the stratocumulus cloud layer which was being brought in off the sea on a gentle to moderate north east breeze. Indeed in late morning there were some decent spells of autumn sunshine, and despite a modest maximum of 13 C it nevertheless felt very pleasant in the sun and out of the wind. However cloud would again increase in the afternoon and it would remain generally overcast for the remainder of the day. The cloud was thick enough to produce some mizzle in the evening, but this was barely enough to dampen the ground, and it would be largely dry but overcast through the night.

Lots of Redwings were heard passing overhead at dawn this morning, with quite a few seen in small flocks. A few were seen in the garden as well, taking advantage of the Yew berries again. Meanwhile the local Woodpigeons have turned there attentions to the garden Elderberries, with several of these heavy lumbering birds seen trying to reach the berries on the relatively slender and weak twigs on which they are borne.

12th (Tue) 9.4 C to 12.3 C / nil / 1.0 hour / N 2.0 knots
A cloudy morning with a thick layer of stratocumulus being brought in off the sea on a light to gentle north-north-east breeze. However in the afternoon some breaks did manage to develop, this allowing some pleasant spells of warmish sunshine, though by and large it remained largely cloudy, with the temperature struggling to a high of just 12.3 C (54 F). Remaining mostly cloudy in the evening and overnight, though there was a clearer period for a time around 9 pm.

A good number of Redwings were seen in the garden today, with at least a dozen or so seen together at one point. The majority were again feeding on the Yew berries with the local Blackbirds and up to five Song Thrushes, but at least one was also seen taking advantage of the Haw berries. It is also interesting to note the variation in plumage of many of these winter visitors, with many having attractive and vivid red patches beneath their wings, while on others it is almost absent with only the diagnostic white eye stripes confirming that they are indeed Redwings. Most of these plainer individuals are also more sleek and less plump, and I suspect they are probably juveniles, perhaps visiting these shores for the first time in their short lives. Also seen in the garden today were two wonderfully vivid male Bullfinches, with one of them seen feeding on the Honeysuckle berries, and a small flock of Siskin’s were also seen in the Ash tree again. With the Siskin’s were good numbers of Greenfinches & Goldfinches and the garden seemed alive with birds for a good part of the morning. What does all this activity suggest about the coming winter I wonder ? In the afternoon a Treecreeper was seen on the Hawthorn too, a species which has been seen more frequently in the last few months.

13th (Wed) 6.4 C to 11.9 C / trace / 0.6 hours / N 2.3 knots
A grey and cloudy morning again though like most recent days it did become somewhat brighter by mid day with some spells of sunshine. However any sunshine was fairly short lived today, and most of the afternoon was cloudy, with temperatures struggling to just 11.9 C as a result. Remaining overcast through the evening and night, with spells of drizzle and mizzle later.

Good numbers of Redwings were again in the garden today, with their high pitch calls being heard frequently throughout the local woods and gardens. A flock of Siskin’s was also seen again, moving with a small charm of Goldfinches. Later in the morning a lone Tree Sparrow was seen at the feeding station, probably one of the ones which visited back in September.

14th (Thu) 8.6 C to 12.8 C / 0.7 mm / nil / NW 3.2 knots
A grey and chilly feeling morning, with outbreaks of occasional drizzle and mizzle. Becoming somewhat drier after mid-day, though it would remain grey and overcast throughout the rest of the day, this becoming the fifth sunless day so far this month. Continuing damp and overcast overnight, with some spells of drizzle around midnight.

A Fox was seen on the Archery field this morning, which was surprisingly tame for a wild one and allowed a fairly close approach. It looked like a young individual though I couldn’t tell if it was a dog fox or a vixen.

15th (Fri) 9.5 C to 12.2 C / 0.6 mm / nil / NW 4.3 knots
An overcast and dull morning again, and with more of a breeze (from the west-north-west) it felt that bit cooler and very mid autumnal. Like yesterday it would remain cloudy throughout the day with no sunshine at all being recorded, and under overcast skies temperatures would reach no higher than 12.2 C. However after dusk the cloud would begin to break up, and by 9 pm it was largely clear with the moon and stars revealed for the first time in some time. However it wouldn’t remain clear throughout the night and showers would develop later, being brought in off the sea on a north-north-west breeze.

16th (Sat) 7.5 C to 11.5 C / 0.8 mm / 6.1 hours / NW 1.3 knots
A showery morning as moderate showers drifted in off the sea on a largely gentle northerly breeze, though there were some short spells of sunshine between the showers. Indeed at dawn the heap clouds to the east caught the rising sun and looked both attractive and wintry. The morning showers would die out and clear by midday however, and the rest of the afternoon would see plenty of good autumn sunshine, though it was quite cool with a high of just 11.5 C. Remaining largely clear overnight with the temperature falling away to 2.5 C, though it wasn’t quite cold enough for a grass frost.

More Skylarks were heard and seen passing overhead this morning, while in the garden good numbers of Redwings continue to be seen. Indeed I have never known an autumn when these winter visitors have been so apparent.

17th (Sun) 2.5 C to 11.9 C / nil / 8.3 hours / NW 2.2 knots
A clear and chilly start to the day, with temperatures around 3 C and a very heavy dew on the lawn. Remaining largely clear and sunny for most of the day, and indeed though temperatures were again below the monthly average it nevertheless felt very pleasant in the sun. Ho  wever cloud would increase from the north west after 4 pm and by dusk it had become largely cloudy and would remain so through the evening and night. As a result it was much milder than last night, with temperatures falling no lower than 7.9 C.

Brattwood (Nunburnholme)
A gorgeous walk this morning in this always interesting and beautiful area on the western edge of the Wolds, as autumn now reaches its peak. The clear skies overnight has allowed a touch of frost here and there in some of the sheltered dales, with a nice deposit of fine white crystals on the grass and hedges up to a height of about three feet along the beck which runs out of Warter and towards Nunburnholme, while out to the west the Vale of York was enveloped in a layer of thick fog, hiding most of the Vale & the Humber valley from our view for most of our walk. However the Wolds themselves were bathed in surprisingly warm sunshine, and this brought out some of the colour in the local woods, with yellow and golden leaves increasingly carpeting the local woodland floors as autumn marches ever onwards towards the winter to come.

However there are still plenty of reminders of the summer just past to be found in the local countryside, with wildflowers still seen in bloom today including a fair bit of herb robert, mayweed, yarrow and hedge bindweed, while less conspicuous flowers included red campion and a little patch of toadflax in full flower beside the B1246. A little bit of late Knapweed was also seen in this area. The warm sunshine also encouraged a Speckled Wood butterfly to take to the wing in the dappled sunlight of Brattwood, while overhead a Buzzard soared over the wood, a near permanent sight in this part of the Wolds. In upper Brattwood we stumbled upon two good sized flocks of Brambling’s, with each flock certainly containing at least twenty individual birds, and it was nice to see these handsome little birds again after their absence through the long days of summer. This wood is always a good place to find these birds locally, and I can only guess they are attracted to the mixture of abundant beech mast in the wood itself, and the stubble fields which lie beside it. It was also in Brattwood we briefly spied a lone March Tit, another reliable species in this shelter belt woodland, while flocks of noisy Long tailed tits flittered through the elder, hawthorn and blackthorn scrub. Towards the end of the walk we stumbled upon a Stoat on the footpath, with other highlights of the morning including the hearing of Redwings overhead and a lone Green Woodpecker in Brattwood.

18th (Mon) 7.9 C to 13.2 C / 0.5 mm / 0.5 hours / W 5.2 knots
A mild and cloudy morning by and large, though at dawn there were some breaks in the stratocumulus cloud layer which revealed stars and alike, including the constellation of Orion high to the south. However the rest of the day would be cloudy, and apart from a short brighter spell around mid-day, the cloud would increase and thicken as the day wore on with overcast skies by dusk. Slightly milder today than of later, as the breeze was from the west-south-west, and the breeze itself was stronger than it has been lately with some decent gusts in late afternoon and early evening. A short spell of rain passed through in mid evening, but this soon cleared and the rest of the night would become increasingly clear, this allowing temperatures to fall below 5 C.

A small flock of Siskin’s were seen with the local Goldfinches again today, and it does seem like there are more winter visitors in the garden this year than there have been in any other autumn or winter. Indeed at the WWT reserve of Slimbridge the Bewick’s Swan’s have already arrived, some three weeks earlier than normal and two weeks earlier than last year. Also seen in the garden today was the capture of a Song Thrush by a Sparrowhawk.

19th (Tue) 4.9 C to 11.4 C / 0.9 mm / 5.9 hours / NW 6.9 knots
A clear and chilly start to the day, with the constellation of Orion again dominating the southern sky at dawn. Remaining clear through the morning with plenty of golden October sunshine, though it felt quite chilly with temperatures again struggling to exceed 50 degrees, with an extra chill being provided by a moderate north west breeze. Cloud increasing in the afternoon with some sharp showers around 3 pm, but these would clear by dusk with it becoming largely clear by mid evening. Remaining largely clear overnight, and though it became quite cold a frost was prevented by a moderate to fresh northerly breeze. Nevertheless the low of 1.7 C was the lowest recorded for over five months.

In the clear evening sky the nearly full moon and Jupiter were very close together at 8.30 pm, with the moon high in the south-south-eastern sky. The spectacle of the two brightest objects in the night sky at the moment was most impressive and it’s a delight to have lovely dark skies again after the long days of summer.

20th (Wed) 1.7 C to 7.3 C / trace / 9.5 hours / NW 4.9 knots
A clear start to the day, with temperatures just below 2 C and combined with a moderate north-north-west breeze it felt really quite cold with wind chill around -2 C. Remaining largely clear and sunny through the remainder of the day, and all in all it was a very pleasant, if chilly October day as the temperature struggled to a high of just 7.3 C, the first day to remain below 50 degrees Fahrenheit since the 10th of May, and the fourth coldest October day on my records dating back to 2003. Remaining clear at first overnight but cloud would increase after midnight with some light showers later.

Several flocks of FIELDFARE’s were seen passing overhead this morning, there chattering calls alerting me to their presence as they streamed westwards. This now means that most, indeed if not all, the usual winter visitors to the region have been seen, and there is no doubt that autumn has come early this year with many species being seen far earlier than average, and in good numbers too. It makes me wonder what all this means for the coming winter.

21st (Thu) 2.6 C to 11.6 C / nil / 7.0 hours / W 4.9 knots
A chilly and largely cloudy start, with some occasional very light showers, but by mid-morning some breaks began to develop allowing some sunny spells, and indeed by the end of the morning it had become largely clear and sunny. Remaining largely sunny through the afternoon, bar some cloudier periods from time to time. Not as cold as yesterday, but there was a moderate westerly breeze which made it feel nevertheless distinctly chilly. Variable amounts of cloud overnight.

Despite the recent chilly conditions there is still plenty of flowers and colour in the garden, with the varying shades of orange provided by the always good value Nasturtium’s looking particularly good in the characteristically golden sunlight of October, while other flowers in the garden at the moment include Cyclamen’s, Cranesbill’s, a bit of Japanese Anemone, and the last of the Geranium’s and Fuchsia’s. Meanwhile in the next door garden there is a wonderful display of multi-coloured Dahlia’s, which is now at its best. The abundant red berries on many of the tree’s and shrubs are also providing a fine spectacle, with the Cottoneaster & Pyracantha berries positively glowing like fairy lights bedecking a Christmas tree. Meanwhile the Virginia Creeper is now a lovely mixture of shades, ranging from deep red, through yellow, to still green, though the recent breezes has meant that many are now beginning to fall. However elsewhere in the local area many trees are still largely green and in full leaf, with the Sycamores and Beech’s in particular showing little signs of the season yet, while in contrast the garden Crab Apple and Swedish Whitebeam are now nearly bare, with just a few golden leaves holding out against the inevitable coming of winter. However despite the coming of winter, the sunshine today nevertheless encouraged a number of butterflies on to the wing, with species seen in the including Red Admiral and Comma.

22nd (Fri) 6.8 C to 13.3 C / 1.1 mm / 5.0 hours / SW 4.1 knots
A bright morning and early afternoon with variable amounts of mid and high level clouds, and feeling quite a bit milder today with temperatures in the mid fifties and less of a chilly breeze. Cloud increasing in the second half of the afternoon however and becoming quite grey for a time, though it came to nothing and indeed after dusk the cloud would break up with some clear spells developing. However cloud would again increase later in the night, and this would bring some outbreaks of rain after midnight. The breeze also freshened from the south west for a time.

23rd (Sat) 8.5 C to 10.5 C / 0.2 mm / 0.7 hours / NW 6.5 knots
A grey morning, with the ground damp after overnight rain. Remaining grey through most of the day, with some spells of drizzle in early afternoon, but by the end of the afternoon the cloud did begin to break and clear with some late sunshine to end the day. Cooler again with a high of just 10.5 C, and a moderate north westerly breeze. Becoming largely clear overnight, though the moderate breeze prevented temperatures from falling very low, with a minimum of 4 C.

Fieldfare’s were seen and heard heading overhead again this morning, while in the garden further Redwing’s and Siskin’s continue to be seen amongst the resident birds.

24th (Sun) 4.0 C to 8.9 C / 0.2 mm / 5.8 hours / NW 5.8 knots
A bright and chilly start, with some occasional light showers drifting down from the north. These showers would die out as the day progressed and all in all it was a pleasant, if perhaps a chilly and breezy day, with some decent sunny spells between the cloud periods. Becoming largely clear overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall with a low of 0.5 C, and a slight grass frost (-0.9 C), the first of this autumn.

Great Dugdale & Warter
A pleasant walk on a chilly and breezy autumnal day. The tree’s have turned quite a bit since last weekend, with the colder nights recently giving them a bit of encouragement, and many of the Beech’s have begun to be a pleasing golden colour, made all the more vivid by the golden October sunshine today. The scene around Warter village pond was particularly attractive and there is no doubt that we are now entering the last phase of autumn as winter grows ever nearer. Bird wise the morning was fairly quiet, though there were some good flocks of finches in the stubble and covert fields, as well as abundant gamebirds, particularly red-legged Partridges. Above the valley a couple of Buzzards were seen, and towards the end of our walk we had a particularly good view of a Red Kite, the sun really bringing out the rich colours of its plumage, with its rusty red back contrasting sharply with the black and white bars on its wings. A few Redwings were heard too along our walk, though I was surprised we didn’t come across any Fieldfare’s at any point considering there recent arrival in the last week.

25th (Mon) 0.5 C to 9.0 C / trace / 9.0 hours / W 2.1 knots
A clear and cold start to the day, with a very slight grass frost on the lawn, the first of the autumn, and ice on cars. Remaining largely clear and chilly through the remainder of the day, and all in all it was another pleasant and sunny mid to late autumn day. Clear at first overnight, this allowing temperatures to drop again with another slight grass frost, but cloud would increase later, raising temperatures with it.

26th (Tue) 2.0 C to 13.4 C / 4.5 mm / nil / SW 3.5 knots
An overcast and raw feeling morning, with some outbreaks of rain and drizzle at times. A period of more persistent and heavier rain would move in around 11 am, but this would clear after midday, though the rest of the day would remain overcast, damp, and grey. However temperatures would rise after the rain cleared, and would continue to rise through the evening, reaching a high of 13.4 C around midnight. Variable amounts of cloud overnight, and becoming quite blustery from the south west for a time.

27th (Wed) 11.0 C to 15.0 C / nil / 7.3 hours / SW 3.1 knots
A very mild and showery start to the day with a blustery south west wind, but by mid morning the showers had cleared with the breeze also easing. The rest of the day would see plenty of sunshine, with just a veil of high cloud coming and going through the day, and it was mild too, the temperature climbing to 15 C, making this the warmest day for well over a fortnight. Largely clear at first overnight, but cloud would increase later with cloudy and grey skies by dawn.

A flock of Golden Plovers were seen passing over the house around 7.30 am, heading south eastwards, while later a few Fieldfare’s were also seen heading westwards.

28th (Thu) 7.4 C to 13.6 C / trace / 2.1 hours / SW 2.7 knots
A grey morning but it would become brighter after 10 am with some weak spells of sunshine around the middle of the day. Not quite as mild as yesterday, though still very comfortable with a high of 56 degrees. Cloud increasing after 2 pm and soon becoming overcast and grey, the cloud thick enough for a few drops of rain, though it didn’t come to anything in the end. Remaining cloudy overnight, and with a warm southerly breeze it was very mild, the alcohol thermometer falling no lower than 11.4 C, very unseasonable indeed.

Colour amongst the local tree’s is becoming more noticeable now, as indeed is leaf fall with attractive golden and yellow leaves covering many of the more wooded areas. A beautiful annual spectacle.

29th (Fri) 11.4 C to 12.9 C / nil / nil / SW 3.0 knots
A grey and mild morning with a warm south-south-westerly breeze. Remaining generally cloudy for the remainder of the day and all in all a very uneventful and non-descript sort of day. Cloudy at first overnight, but this would begin to clear later with largely clear skies by dawn.

30th (Sat) 7.3 C to 12.5 C / nil / 4.2 hours / SW 1.0 knots
A clear start to the day, and remaining largely clear and sunny through the morning, though broken cloud would increase by mid-day. The afternoon would see variable amounts of cloud with some spells of golden autumn sunshine at times. Clear spells overnight, this allowing temperatures to drop to below 5 C, but fog would begin to form later, becoming thick by dawn.

31st (Sun) 4.4 C to 12.0 C / nil / nil / NW 2.5 knots
A foggy start to the day, with visibility below 200 metres around 7 am. Lifting as the morning progressed but nevertheless remaining grey and quite murky throughout the remainder of the day with little in the way of brightness. Remaining cloudy overnight and very mild as a result with a low of just 7.3 C.

A fine walk on what was a grey and foggy autumn morning, with visibility barely more than a couple of miles. Indeed the visibility in this lovely corner of the Wolds was far better than the majority of the area, with some quite dense patches around Lund and Middleton. Mum joined us on our walk today and she picked a wonderful time to do so as the autumn colours are now at there best. It has been amazing how quickly the leaves have turned in the last fortnight, with the Beech’s looking fantastic even in the dull light today, while other trees are yellow adding to a wonderful diversity of shades, from the dark greens of the spruces and pines, the pale yellows of the turning larches, the yellow leaves of limes, sycamores and ashes, and the coppery reds of the majestic Beech’s. Further colour is added by the abundant fruits this year, especially the bright red rosehips which were seen in great number along the hedgerow which runs down from Nunburnholmewold Wood to the road.

Flowers have now nearly all disappeared in the countryside however, with the recent rural ground frosts no doubt having encouraged them to go in to dormancy for the winter ahead, though in the odd sheltered spot one can still find the odd bit of bindweed and herb robert. Bird wise the walk was very busy, with lots of little roving bands of finches and tits come across, including some Brambling’s up in the roadside Beech’s, and it was also from here where a Buzzard was also heard in the nearby woods. Gamebirds were also around in huge numbers this morning, with the covert crops literally heaving with Pheasants and Partridge’s.

However the possible highlight of the morning was the spotting of what I strongly suspect were WAXWING’s. I was attracted to there presence by an unfamiliar high pitch call, and then when the flew over our heads I noticed a hint of pinkish colour to there plumage and they were about the size of a Starling (perhaps a little larger). Unfortunately they continued to fly until they were out of sight, but nevertheless I am quite confident in my identification, which means that I finally seen a species of bird which has eluded me for far to long. Of other interest today was the brief spotting of a Stoat, an animal which we’ve seen quite a bit of in the last few weeks, and the fact that despite this is October, a month generally not associated with dry weather, the local streams and becks are running very low, much lower than they were in summer in fact.

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