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December 2011

1st (Thu) 4.6 C to 7.5 C / nil / 2.0 hours / W 1.9 14 Kt.
A clear and chilly start, but altostratus would begin to invade by mid-morning, this veiling the sun as the day wore on, with mostly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Remaining cloudy into the evening, but overnight the cloud would clear with mostly clear skies through to dawn. This would allow temperatures to fall, with a slight hoar frost by the end of the night.

2nd (Fri) 0.9 C to 9.5 C / 0.6 mm / 3.1 hours / SW 5.7 23 Kt.
A clear and frosty start, with a touch of hoar frost around the local area. Remaining bright for most of the morning, though cloud would increase by 11 am, with it becoming quite grey for a time in the afternoon. Indeed it even looked quite threatening, but it came to nothing and the cloud would begin to break and clear by dusk. The evening would see mostly clear skies, but the freshening breeze would stop the temperature from falling much, and overnight cloud would increase anyway with a short period of rain for a time. Clearing by the end of the night, with clear skies by dawn.

First hoar frost of the winter, with cars covered in frost, as well as some roofs, and just a touch of it on the lawn too.

3rd (Sat) 1.7 C to 8.9 C / nil / 5.0 hours / W 6.9 32 Kt.
A clear and chilly start, made to feel that bit colder thanks to a moderate to fresh WNW breeze which would pick up as the morning wore on with gusts up to 32 knots. Remaining bright with sunny spells for much of the day, though there would be some cloudier periods too, especially in mid-afternoon. Clear spells at first in the evening, though the breeze again preventing temperatures from falling drastically, but cloud amounts would increase overnight as stratocumulus drifted in from the west.

4th (Sun) 4.0 C to 6.0 C / 0.2 mm / 0.3 hours / W 5.1 25 Kt.
A bright start, with variable amounts of stratocumulus, though feeling chilly in a brisk westerly breeze. However cloud would increase by 10 am, with it remaining generally grey, cloudy, and cold for the remainder of the day. The cloud would in fact become thick enough for some cold rain by dusk, but this didn’t come to much with the skies clearing after dark. Becoming cold overnight, though a breeze again prevented temperatures from falling below freezing, though towards dawn some snow pellet showers would pass over, this giving a very slight dusting on any cold surfaces. Our first taste of winter this year.

North Cliffe Wood
Today we set off across the Wolds to visit North Cliffe wood near Market Weighton, with my sister and nephew joining us. The weather was bright initially, but it would soon become grey and dull, though the most noticeable feature of the weather this morning was the cold and brisk westerly wind. After what has been such a mild autumn it seems that winter has perhaps finally arrived. The wood meanwhile was fairly quiet this morning, with the Birch woodland now standing bare and stark in its winter cloak, and only a few typical winter woodland tits and finches fluttering amongst the branches.


Amongst the finches were a few Bullfinches, always a pleasing sight, while amongst the hawthorn & gorse scrub on the heath a flock of mixed thrushes was seen searching for food, amongst them some Fieldfare’s. Fieldfare’s were also seen on the local fields in good numbers, as were a mixture of common winter farmland gulls (Black-heads, Mews, & Black-backs), and a lone Curlew. The Curlew called a few times while we enjoyed our walk, and their are perhaps few birds whose calls are more evocative than the simple ‘quooi’ of these handsome waders. Another bird which was heard but not necessarily seen this morning, included a Jay. One day I might actually manage to see one of these birds here at North Cliffe rather than just hearing them. A few raptors were about too, including a Sparrowhawk and a couple of Buzzards over the heath, while other predators seen this morning included a brief sighting of a Fox by my sister.


Meanwhile the plant-life of the wood is now very much entering winter mode, with most trees now bare and dormant, but some colour is still nevertheless present in the sheltered parts of the Oak woodland, the last golden leaves being complemented by the coppery hues of the dying bracken on the woodland floor. Fungi too is now becoming increasingly scarce, with the diversity of species which were to be found in autumn now a fading memory, but nevertheless some were found here and there, including types of Grisette, Russula, and what appeared to be Armillaria’s. All in all an interesting morning’s stroll around this tranquil woodland, as the countryside marches on from the glories of autumn towards the quiet and dormant days of winter. Perhaps the next time we visit their will be some snow on the ground.


5th (Mon) 1.0 C to 4.8 C / 0.8 mm / 4.3 hours / W 5.0 26 Kt.
A clear and cold morning, the day beginning with a very slight dusting of snow pellets on any cold surfaces. This would soon melt though in the sunshine, though nevertheless it was a cold day with a high of just 4.8 C. Sleet and wet snow showers arriving in mid-afternoon, this making it feel particularly raw outside, but they would clear after dusk, with mostly clear skies overnight. However yet again it wasn’t cold enough for our first air frost of the winter, with a moderate WNW breeze preventing temperatures from falling below freezing.

The first snow of this winter came just prior to dawn today, though it was more snow pellets rather than proper snow. Nevertheless after such a mild and frostless autumn it is just nice to see (and indeed feel) some proper wintry weather.


6th (Tue) 1.0 C to 5.7 C / 3.4 mm / 2.6 hours / SW 4.6 33 Kt.
Initially clear and cold, with frost covering all cold surfaces, but sleet showers would arrive at dawn, washing away all the ice and frost. The showers clearing by 8 am, with the rest of the morning see plenty of sunshine, though despite the sun it felt very raw today, with a cold WNW breeze. Cloud increasing from the west by midday however, with cloudy skies for most of the afternoon, and by dusk it would become thick enough for a short spell of rain. This soon clearing, but after a short quieter period showers would move in overnight, becoming  frequent for a time and quite heavy (peak rate of 3.6 mm/h). Also becoming increasingly windy, with gusts up to 33 knots.

Fieldfare’s heard in the area today, as well as some Redwing’s. Otherwise the garden is quite quiet bird-wise, though this may more to do with my current lack of bird feeders and food.

7th (Wed) 2.5 C to 6.9 C / 0.6 mm / 2.3 hours / W 8.2 38 Kt.
A blustery morning with a fresh to strong WNW breeze, with a mixture of sunshine and showers, some of which contained a bit of sleet at times. The wind would also become very squally during some of the showers, with a maximum gust of 38 knots being recorded. Quieter for a time, but another period of squally rain/sleet showers would follow in mid-afternoon. Clearing by dusk, with clear spells in the evening, and it would remain clear for much of the night, with the breeze also easing later. Cloud would increase as well though by the end of the night, with some outbreaks of rain by dawn.

8th (Thu) 2.8 C to 10.6 C / 4.1 mm / nil / W 9.6 45 Kt.
A grey and dull morning, with some outbreaks of rain at times. However it was the freshening wind which was the most noticeable feature of the morning, and this would become quite strong at times. Becoming quieter for a time but a very sharp squall would pass through around 3 pm, with winds gusting to 45 knots (force 9) and a peak rainfall rate of 45.8 mm/h. Thereafter the cloud would break, with decent clear spells in the evening and overnight, but it would remain at the very least breezy, particularly in the evening with gusts regularly up to gale force.

9th (Fri) 3.0 C to 5.6 C / 0.2 mm / 4.8 hours / W 3.3 24 Kt.
A clear and chilly start, with a moderate to fresh breeze. Remaining mostly clear and sunny for the vast majority of the day, though cloud would increase in the afternoon with a brief shower around 3 pm. Clearing by dusk though with clear skies through the evening and night, this allowing temperatures to fall away with the first air frost of this winter (-1.4 C). This is the latest ever first air frost on my records, beating the previous record of December 8th in 2003.

With the lovely clear and cold skies this evening, I decided to head out with my camera and attempt some night-time photography. Overall I was very pleased with the results, and I hope to photograph more night scenes over the coming winter. The camera also performed well, despite the low temperatures and frost, and I am particularly looking forward to taking some night scenes when or if we get some snow over the winter.



10th (Sat) -1.4 C to 5.6 C / 0.3 mm / 4.0 hours / SW 4.0 21 Kt.
A lovely clear and frosty start to the day, with the whole district covered in a heavy hoar frost, the first significant one of this winter. Remaining sunny and chilly throughout the morning, with the frost just about surviving all day in shady spots, though in the afternoon the sun would become increasingly veiled by variable amounts of high cloud. Clear spells in the evening, this allowing another ground frost, but cloud would increase & thicken overnight, bringing with it some rain and warmer temperatures. The breeze also picking up a bit by dawn.

A lovely frosty start to the day, with the whole area covered in a moderate to heavy hoar frost. This mornings low of -1.4 C is the first sub-zero minimum of this autumn/winter, and is the latest ever start to the air frost season on my records dating back to 2003.


11th (Sun) 0.7 C to 7.3 C / 2.7 mm / nil / SW 2.8 20 Kt.
A grey start, with the ground wet after recent rain. Much milder than yesterday morning though (4 C at 6 am), with a freshening SW breeze. Remaining dull throughout the morning, with the cloud becoming ever thicker with outbreaks of moderate rain during the afternoon. Dying out by the evening though, with the cloud breaking and clearing overnight. Indeed the clear skies would allow temperatures to fall to near freezing, with a light hoar frost by dawn.

ADAS High Mowthorpe
On a dull, raw, blustery, and eventually wet morning, we headed up to the ADAS farm at High Mowthorpe, which is just over the county border in North Yorkshire and near the village of Duggleby. The landscape of this area of the Northern Wolds is much bleaker and open than the central and western Wolds where I tend to do most of my birding and rambling, but nevertheless High Mowthorpe has plenty of interest, including a small reservoir, a rare piece of open water in what is otherwise a dry landscape. However the reservoir is currently quite low, and is about a third smaller than normal, and this lack of water was reflected in the few wildfowl seen there this morning, with just a couple of Mallards, four Greylag Geese, and six Teal. Around the waters edge a Pied Wagtail was spotted, while over the nearby wet fields a Buzzard was seen hunting.


Indeed through the morning Buzzard’s were seen frequently, with at least three in this relatively small area. Meanwhile the fields also hosted their fair share of bird and wildlife, including a dozen Grey Partridge’s, hundreds of Wood Pigeon (amongst which a few Stock doves were picked out), and typical winter farmland gulls (mostly Black-heads, Commons, & Great Black-backs). Hare’s were also seen well this morning, including one individual which was less than 25 yards from where we watched it, and we also stumbled upon a rather old looking Stoat. Indeed my father nearly accidentally stood on the little beast, and it gave a loud cry of alarm as it ran for its nearby den.


However the undoubted highlight of the morning for me was the flushing of a handsome Woodcock from one of the many areas of shelter-belt woodland up here, and I was able to get a good view of it (though sadly not long enough to photograph it). This is the first Woodcock I’ve seen in the Wolds this winter, and they have long been one of my favourite of all the wild game-birds, partly because of their elusiveness but also because of the many traditions and folk-lore which surround this secretive and skulking species of bird. So all in all it was a good morning despite the weather (or perhaps because of it), with plenty to see and enjoy.


12th (Mon) 0.5 C to 9.0 C / 9.2 mm / 5.4 hours / SW 5.1 33 Kt.
A clear start, with a light hoar frost covering the area, and it would remain clear for most of the day with abundant winter sunshine. However cloud would move in from the SW after 3 pm, and this would thicken through the remainder of the afternoon and evening with outbreaks of rain by 7 pm. Outbreaks of moderate to heavy rain continuing for much of the night, accompanied at times by a gusty SW breeze, but it would clear by the end of the night.

13th (Tue) 0.9 C to 6.1 C / nil / 5.8 hours / SW 8.6 31 Kt.
An initially cloudy start, but this would clear by 8 am with mostly clear skies by mid-morning. Remaining sunny and clear for the remainder of the day, and feeling cool in the brisk SW wind, and it would remain clear during the evening and overnight. However the breeze prevented temperatures from falling below freezing, though their would be a touch of grass frost by dawn.

14th (Wed) 1.7 C to 5.4 C / 5.1 mm / 3.9 hours / SW 3.8 28 Kt.
A cold, sunny and breezy morning, with a slight grass frost at first. Cloud increasing in the afternoon, with the cloud thick enough to produce some spots of rain by 3 pm, but this didn’t come to much and the cloud would clear by the evening. Clear spells overnight, this allowing a slight air frost, but cloud would increase again later with a period of sleet and wet snow arriving just prior to dawn.

Quite a few Redwing’s were seen and heard around the area throughout today. Meanwhile in the Parks a flock of about two dozen Lapwing’s were seen near Black House Stables (along with winter gulls), and a distant Curlew was also seen near Woodmansey when we went to get the Christmas tree.

15th (Thu) -0.6 C to 4.0 C / nil / 2.0 hours / SW 1.7 17 Kt.
Moderate to heavy sleet and wet snow at first this morning, this giving a slight accumulation of slush on most surfaces (most of which would melt by midday, though in some spots it would last throughout the day). Snow & sleet clearing by mid-morning, and thereafter slowly brightening up with some spells of sunshine by the afternoon. A chilly day, with a high of just 4 C. Clear spells in the evening and for much of the night, this allowing a touch of air frost, but cloud would increase by dawn, raising temperatures with it.

There was a slight accumulation of wet snow this morning, the first bit of lying snow this winter. In the garden a Redpoll was briefly observed amongst a flock of Goldfinches.

16th (Fri) -0.3 C to 3.5 C / 0.6 mm / nil / NW 5.2 18 Kt.
An overcast and cold start, with temperatures barely above freezing, and indeed temperatures would struggle to rise much throughout the day under the generally overcast skies with a high of just 3.5 C. Ice pellet showers would pass through shortly after dusk, but these would soon clear with variable amounts of broken cloud in the evening and overnight. Some clearer spells would develop at times too, this allowing a slight air frost with hoar frost by dawn.

17th (Sat) -0.3 C to 4.0 C / nil / 0.5 hours / W 6.0 21 Kt.
A frosty but largely cloudy start, and remaining cold and cloudy for the remainder of the morning with only a few brighter periods at times. However in the afternoon the cloud would begin to break up, with some wintry sunny spells developing, and the cloud would continue to break in the evening and overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall below freezing with a decent hoar frost by dawn.
A male Blackcap was seen in the garden today, while Tree Sparrows were also seen on the bird feeders.

While travelling over to North Cave this evening, we passed over High Hunsley where snow covered about 50% of the fields, especially in shady areas behinds trees or buildings.

North Cave Wetlands
I ventured across the Wolds just prior to dusk today to visit North Cave on what was a bright but cold winter's day. By the time I arrived at the reserve the sun was on the verge of setting, so I knew I wouldn't have long on the reserve before darkness descended, but I was pleased to see I had the reserve to myself (a rare luxury these days). The vast majority of the lagoons were covered in a thin layer ice, but where the breeze was stronger the water was still open, and it was in these areas that most of the birds were gathered.


Their was a particularly good number of typical winter wildfowl around this evening, including a good number of Wigeon (my favourite duck, bar Pintails), as well as Teal, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted dusk, Mallard, and three Shelducks. On the edge of the lagoons were Lapwing, Redshank, & Snipe, while overhead a Curlew was heard at one point. However the most obvious species of bird this evening were Fieldfares, with the hedgerows seemingly alive with these large thrushes along the edge of the reserve, and Redwings were also well represented tonight.


However to be honest it was the beauty of the winter evening sky which was the highlight of this short trip (it was really too dark to see the birds properly anyway), and the twilight scene was emphasised even more by the ice on the lagoons, the crisp coldness of the air, and the falling frost. Indeed by the time I completed my circuit of the reserve it was truly dark, and I was restricted to identifying the birds by calls, but above me I saw Jupiter shining brightly in the south-eastern sky, while Venus was low in the south, a fine way to end my short jaunt to this award winning wetland site.


18th (Sun) -1.5 C to 3.0 C / nil / 5.4 hours / W 3.0 19 Kt.
A mostly clear and frosty start, and it would remain mostly clear and cold throughout the day, with temperatures reaching a high of just 3 C, with the frost surviving all day in the shade. Under clear skies during the evening the temperature would quickly fall again, reaching a low of -3.1 C overnight, but towards the end of the night cloud would begin to increase from the south-west, raising temperatures slowly with it.

Wharram Percy
On a cold and frosty morning we headed up to the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy, which is just across the county border in North Yorkshire. Actually Wharram Percy is barely more than a couple of miles away from last weeks walk at the ADAS farm at High Mowthorpe, though thankfully the weather was much more pleasant today with clear blue skies and beautiful hoar frost in the shady dales. The walk at Wharram Percy is one of my favourites, though it can be spoilt somewhat by the large number of visitors it sometimes attracts, though today we pretty much had the whole area to ourselves, an all too rare luxury.


The air was very clear today and visibility was excellent, and from the car park one could look across to Castle Howard in the north-west, with the snow dusted North Yorkshire Moors beyond & to the north of that magnificent house, while much more distantly to the west the snow blanketed Pennines could be seen clearly. Here too at Wharram Percy it appeared their had been a snow shower during the night, with a slight dusting of flakes seen upon the frozen ponds and puddles, but it was the hoar frost which primarily gave added wintry beauty to the countryside this morning, with delicate white crystals covering the ground.


Bird-wise the morning was very quiet, with no sign of the Peregrines from Wharram Quarry (or indeed Burdale Quarry), but a large Buzzard was spotted at one point, and a few Kestrels were seen hunting alongside the field edges. A flock of Bullfinches was a pleasing sight though, with probably about 8 moving through the Hawthorn scrub near the old railway line, while winter thrushes were abundant, especially Fieldfares with at least 200 hundred seen in the scrub just beyond the abandoned village.


19th (Mon) -3.1 C to 6.9 C / 1.4 mm / nil / W 6.4 28 Kt.
A cold and frosty start, with cloud increasing from the SW. Indeed by mid-morning it had become overcast with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, this making it quite icy for a time as the rain fell upon the cold ground. Rain clearing by midday, but nevertheless it would remain cloudy throughout the afternoon with little in the way of brightness. However in the evening the cloud would begin to break, with the rest of the night seeing variable amounts of cloud, though a moderate to fresh westerly breeze would make it a milder night than recently.

20th (Tue) 1.0 C to 5.5 C / 2.6 mm / 0.8 hours / W 2.9 21 Kt.
A bright and breezy morning, with thin altostratus veiling the sun. However as the morning went on this cloud would thicken, with cloudy skies by midday. Remaining cloudy through the afternoon, and indeed evening, with outbreaks of rain moving in overnight. Also becoming increasingly murky overnight with fog by dawn.

21st (Wed) 3.4 C to 11.1 C / trace / nil / W 6.0 34 Kt.
A damp and foggy morning, with visibility down to about 500 metres, and it would dull and murky throughout the morning, though by midday visibility had improved somewhat. Little change in the afternoon, with grey and overcast skies, but around dusk the cloud would begin to break with clear spells developing in the evening and overnight. However the breeze would also pick up, this becoming strong overnight with gusts up to gale force, and the temperature would actually rise, reaching an unseasonable high of 11.1 C.

22nd (Thu) 4.6 C to 12.1 C / nil / 2.0 hours / S 4.3 29 Kt.
A very mild, breezy, and bright morning, with some spells of sunshine at times. Remaining bright going into the afternoon, with temperatures reaching a high of 12.1 C (making this the warmest December day since 2007), but cloud would increase after 2 pm with mostly cloudy skies for the rest of the day. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight, with some clear spells at times, but it would nevertheless remain mild with a low of just 7.6 C.

23rd (Fri) 7.6 C to 10.5 C / 11.4 mm / nil / W 6.0 28 Kt.
A grey and mild morning, with the cloud becoming ever thicker and bringing a spell of persistent moderate to heavy rain which would continue through most of the morning and afternoon (11.4 mm in total would be recorded). However in the evening the rain would clear, with the breeze picking up for a time, and overnight their would be variable amounts of cloud, this allowing temperatures to fall lower than the last couple of nights with a touch of grass frost.

24th (Sat) 1.8 C to 10.2 C / 0.4 mm / 1.3 hours / SW 5.1 24 Kt.
A largely clear start, bar extensive amounts of high cirrus, but as the morning wore on this high cloud would be replaced by increasing amounts of altostratus with any early sunshine becoming increasingly weak. Indeed by 10 am outbreaks of rain would move in, but this didn’t last long and it would dry and brighten up after midday. Variable amounts of cloud in the afternoon, but after dusk cloud would generally increase, with temperatures rising with the cloud.

25th (Sun) 4.2 C to 13.3 C / nil / 0.8 hours / SW 5.8 34 Kt.
A cloudy and mild start to Christmas Day (the temperature 10 C at 9 am), and remaining generally cloudy and mild throughout the day. However some sunny spells would manage to break through in the afternoon, and this would encourage temperatures to rise to over 13 C, making this the warmest December day since 2007. The breeze would freshen in the evening, with gusts of up to 34 knots, with the night seeing largely cloudy skies.

North Cave Wetlands
On a grey, breezy and mild Christmas morning, my Dad and I popped down to North Cave Wetlands, hoping to catch some interesting winter waterfowl at our favourite local wetland site prior to the festive family banquet back at home. At first the reserve seemed quiet with little of anything on Main Lake (bar common species of gulls, Teals, Pochards, and a single Redshank), but as we made our way around the reserve we would come across some Siskin's along the western edge of the reserve. At least half a dozen were seen, but their way well have been more, and though I looked hard I wasn't able to pick out any Lesser Redpolls amongst the flock (their were lots of Goldfinches and Long Tailed Tits in the area though).


On Far Lake good numbers of Wigeon & Gadwall were seen, but the highlight of the morning would come on Island Lake where a single male Goosander was seen swimming amongst the abundant Teal on the Lake (a single Shoveler was also seen here). Over on Village Lake the vast majority of the Greylag Geese had congregated, and amongst the noisy throng a single Pink-footed Goose was picked out, along with a hybrid goose of some sort. Meanwhile the southern hedgerows hosted large numbers of thrushes, with Redwings being particularly apparent, and towards the end of our short trip a pair of Bullfinches was spotted, a good way to end our Yuletide stroll.



26th (Mon) 10.0 C to 13.7 C / nil / 2.3 hours / SW 3.8 25 Kt.
A sunny and very mild start to St. Stephen’s Day (11 C at 9 am), and remaining mild and bright for the majority of the day with a very unseasonable high of 13.7 C, the highest maximum recorded in December since 2007 (see yesterday). Variable amounts of cloud overnight, with yet another very mild night for late December.

27th (Tue) 8.7 C to 10.4 C / 0.6 mm / 1.4 hours / SW 4.4 26 Kt.
A bright and mild morning again, with some good spells of weak winter sunshine. However cloud would increase in the afternoon, with cloudy skies for the remainder of the day. Remaining mostly cloudy in the evening, but some clearer spells would develop overnight, though by dawn more general cloud would again start to increase. Another mild day.

28th (Wed) 6.8 C to 8.4 C / 0.2 mm / 0.9 hours / W 8.1 40 Kt.
After a wet start with a short period of moderate rain, it would quickly brighten up with some short spells of sunshine around midday. However cloud would increase again in the afternoon, with a short spell of blustery rain, but this would clear by dusk, with variable amounts of cloud in the evening. However the breeze would become strong in the evening, with gust of up to 40 knots, and it would remain breezy throughout the night.

29th (Thu) 4.4 C to 7.9 C / 2.8 mm / 1.4 hours / W 9.2 38 Kt.
A bright and breezy morning for the most part, but cloud would quickly increase by the end of the morning, with a short period of blustery rain. Quieter for a time before a period of sharp and squally showers in mid-afternoon, with a peak rainfall rate of 26.8 mm/h and gusts up to 38 knots (it really was quite wild for a time with the rain beating against the western windows). Clearing after dusk, with mostly clear skies in the evening and overnight, with the breeze also slowly easing as the night progressed. Colder than recent nights with the slightest of ground frosts.

30th (Fri) 1.4 C to 10.4 C / 4.1 mm / 0.2 hours / W 2.6 15 Kt.
An initially clear and cold start, but cloud would quickly increase from the west by mid morning, with overcast skies by the end of the morning. The cloud continuing to thicken in the afternoon, with persistent moderate rain arriving after 3 pm, and this rain would continue well into the evening. Clearing overnight but nevertheless remaining largely cloudy with temperatures actually rising as the night progressed.

31st (Sat) 2.0 C to 11.8 C / trace / nil / SW 4.5 25 Kt.
A very mild and largely cloudy start, and remaining cloudy and mild throughout the day with temperatures climbing to 11.8 C. Little change in the evening and overnight, with very mild conditions for the New Year celebrations, though the cloud was thick enough for some light rain for a short time during the middle of the night.

November 2011

1st (Tue) 10.2 C to 13.6 C / nil / 3.7 hours / SW 0.5 knots
A mild and overcast morning with light rain, but by 9 am it would begin to brighten up with spells of sunshine developing as the morning progressed. Indeed by the afternoon it had become mostly clear and sunny, and it would remain sunny throughout the duration of the afternoon. Remaining mostly clear in the evening and overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall below 40 degrees and patches of mist and fog to form by dawn.

Plovers were heard roosting on the high Westwood this morning (probably Golden Plovers), while in the Parklands I came upon a flock of about 11 to 12 Grey Partridge’s in the rough grassland near Old Hall Farm.


Meanwhile while admiring the autumn colours around the garden (the Swedish Whitebeam has been very good this year), I stumbled upon what seem to be a clump of Blewit Fungi. These interesting fungi have a violet to purple stem, an unusual colour in the natural world, while the cap is light brown to clay or dirty white, and the gills are white with just a hint of violet colour in the right light. I have never noticed these in the garden before, but at least eight or so were found this morning under the Hawthorn and Yews.


Later in the day, while cutting back the north wall Ivy, I noticed a Grey Heron fly over, the first recorded over the garden for a year or so, while the odd late Red Admiral was also seen, taking advantage of the last of the ivy blooms.

Meanwhile a flock of perhaps as many 100 Grey Geese flew low over the house shortly after dusk, heading south-eastwards and making quite a din as they did so. Is winter just around the corner perhaps ?

In the evening I got the scope out to look at Jupiter, which at the moment completely dominates the night sky with only the moon being brighter. Through my 10 inch scope the planet was a fantastic sight, with a wealth of the planetary detail on the disc of this giant planet, including both the main equatorial belts, a few fainter other bands, and an obvious dark spot near one of the equatorial belts, which through the evening moved across 10% of the disc. After finishing looking at Jupiter I quickly enjoyed a view of the lovely ‘Double Cluster’, which is one of my favourite views through my telescope.

2nd (Wed) 3.4 C to 14.6 C / 0.6 mm / 5.5 hours / SE 2.8 knots
A clear start to the day, with patches of shallow mist and fog in rural areas. The mist soon clearing leaving a sunny and clement November morning, though cloud would slowly increase as the morning progressed, this veiling the sun somewhat by the afternoon, though it would nevertheless remain bright for most of the afternoons duration. However by the end of the afternoon the cloud would thicken with cloudy skies throughout the evening, this becoming thick enough for some rain around 9 pm. Remaining overcast throughout the night with some further outbreaks of light rain at times.

A sun pillar was noticed just prior to sunrise this morning, on what was a fine dawn with colour in the south east sky and low fog covering the local countryside.

3rd (Thu) 8.0 C to 16.3 C / 9.7 mm / nil / SE 0.8 knots
A damp start with outbreaks of light rain, but this would clear by 8 am. However it would remain cloudy and would remain so throughout the day. Indeed in the afternoon it became quite dark and threatening looking, but it didn’t come to anything and it remained dry. Remaining cloudy overnight with the cloud thickening later in the night with outbreaks of moderate rain by 5 am. A mild night though with the blanket of cloud with a minimum of just 11 C.

4th (Fri) 11.0 C to 13.8 C / 6.1 mm / nil / SW 0.4 knots
A thoroughly wet morning with spells of moderate to heavy rain (peak rate of 22.0 mm/h), but this would begin to clear by midday, though it would nevertheless remain overcast for most of the afternoon, though by dusk the cloud would begin to break up somewhat. Indeed there were some clear spells in the evening, but cloud would return later with it becoming murky and eventually foggy overnight.

5th (Sat) 8.8 C to 11.5 C / nil / nil / NW 4.2 knots
A foggy start with visibility under a kilometre, and remaining dull, overcast and murky for the duration of the morning. Indeed it would remain overcast through the afternoon too, though by dusk the cloud did begin to thin, with the moon and Jupiter visible through the cloud after dusk. The weather indeed was good for the fireworks this evening, with a high cloud base and light to gentle NW winds. Cloud continuing to thin and clear overnight, with mostly clear skies by dawn.

The annual fireworks were very good this year, with a spectacular conclusion of some huge fireworks which seemed to shake the house when they went off, providing a beautiful shower of sparks and effects high in the western sky.


6th (Sun) 6.2 C to 11.7 C / nil / 8.0 hours / N 4.3 knots
A clear morning with long spells of sunshine, very welcome after three successive grey days. It would remain sunny throughout the day, with barely a cloud in the sky, and in the sun it felt very pleasant indeed with temperatures reaching a seasonal high of 11.7 C. Remaining clear in the evening and at first overnight, but cloud would drift in off the sea later in the night with overcast skies by dawn.

North Cliffe Wood
On a beautiful late autumn day, Dad and I paid a visit to North Cliffe wood. I love these birch woodlands, particularly in the colder seasons, and the golden colours of the leaves were enhanced by the clear blue skies and golden sunshine today. It truly was a beautiful and serene scene, with the copper and decaying ferns on the woodland floor, and further colour being provided by the hazels and oaks which grow here and there amongst the otherwise dominant birches. Such scenes remind me of the hunting forests of eastern Europe, particularly Poland, and this sort of habitat is probably one of my favourites to simply get lost in (something which is very easy to do in the vast forests of the eastern European plain).



Fungi too can still be found, though the diversity is not as great as it was earlier in the autumn, though some Fly Agaric, Milkcaps, Russula’s, Grisette’s, Polypore’s, and Bonnet’s were all seen in varying amounts and quality. The only Fly Agaric found had been knocked over however, and I hope this was an accident as I hate when ignorant people kick over these beautiful fungi because they think their dangerous. As long as you don’t eat the things you’ve got nothing to worry about, and actually Fly Agaric is not as deadly as some of the more inconspicuous fungi which are generally overlooked and undisturbed.



The warm sunshine today encouraged quite a bit of activity amongst the squirrels, some of which are looking quite fat after having enjoyed the glut of acorns this year, while out on the heath a few late Red Admiral’s were seen fluttering along. In the heart of the wood we also stumbled upon two or three Roe deer, a fairly common sighting in the wood, especially in the colder seasons, while a shrew or a vole was seen very briefly scuttling across the path at one point. Birdwise the morning was fairly quiet and uneventful, with just your typical woodland passerines, though winter thrushes were heard frequently, and a flock of Fieldfare’s were seen out on the heath. However it was the wood and countryside itself which was the main star today, with the yellows and coppers of canopy and woodland floor giving the whole area a warm but transient glow, one last hurrah before the hibernation and darkness of the winter months ahead.



7th (Mon) 5.3 C to 11.2 C / trace / nil / E 3.1 knots
A dull and overcast day as easterly winds brought thick cloud in off the North Sea. Little change overnight, except that the cloud would become even thicker, this making it quite murky with some occasional outbreaks of drizzle later.

8th (Tue) 8.5 C to 11.9 C / trace / nil / SE 2.0 knots
A grey and murky day, with occasional outbreaks of light drizzle, typical easterly weather in November. Remaining overcast overnight, this keeping temperatures high for the time of year with a low of just 9.5 C.

The thrushes were busy in the garden this afternoon, feeding on the berries and alike. Amongst the Blackbirds some Redwing’s were observed, while Fieldfare’s too were heard in the area. A flock of two dozen Goldfinches were also about the area today.

9th (Wed) 9.5 C to 12.5 C / nil / nil / SE 0.6 knots
Another dull and overcast day, with the cloud thick enough for some spots of drizzle at times in the morning. This makes this the third sunless day in a row and the sixth so far this month. However after dusk the cloud would break up somewhat, revealing the stars and moon, and the rest of the night would see variable amounts of cloud and clear spells in between. However despite the clearer skies it remained fairly mild, with a low of just 7.5 C.

10th (Thu) 7.5 C to 13.4 C / nil / 0.5 hours / SE 3.7 knots
A brighter start than recent days with breaks in the cloud (with mist in rural areas), but by 8 am it became cloudy again and would remain so for the duration of the morning. However it did brighten up again for a time around midday, with even some sunny spells, but cloud would thicken up again later. Indeed by the end of the afternoon it would become quite murky, but as the breeze freshened from the SE this murk would clear in the evening. Remaining overcast though throughout the night.

11th (Fri) 9.5 C to 11.6 C / trace / nil / SE 2.5 knots
A grey morning, with a thick layer of stratus covering the sky, though unlike most days recently there was more in the way of a breeze with a moderate to fresh SE wind, this helping to dry out the local area. Remaining overcast throughout the afternoon, though the breeze would ease, and with the thick cloud dusk would come very early (prior to 4 pm). Little change in the evening and overnight, though during the night the cloud would become thick enough for some light drizzle.

The leaves have really begun to widely fall in the last week, with most trees now half bare and a few almost completely bare, including the Limes, and Horse Chestnuts. The hawthorn in particular has lost a lot of leaves in the past few days, while one can now see through the beech.

12th (Sat) 9.4 C to 13.3 C / 0.2 mm / 3.1 hours / SE 2.4 knots
Yet another cloudy and grey start, though after 9 am it would begin to brighten up with some weak spells of sunshine from time to time. Remaining bright (though not necessarily sunny) in the afternoon, though by the end of the afternoon it would become increasingly cloudy again. Remaining cloudy in the evening and for most of the night (though there was a brief clearer spell for a short time), with the cloud becoming thicker and lower by the end of the night with some light drizzle and general murk by dawn.

13th (Sun) 7.4 C to 12.6 C / trace / 0.3 hours / SE 1.0 knots
A dull and damp morning with light drizzle and visibility down to just 1 km. Becoming slowly drier and brighter as the day wore on, and indeed by mid afternoon even some weak spells of sunshine would break through. Broken cloud in the evening and overnight, with some decent clear spells, this allowing temperatures to fall a little lower than recently.

Huggate area
Today I was up in the area near Huggate, on what was a very damp and murky morning. Indeed there was a continuous light drizzle up here (despite the fact it was mostly dry back in Beverley), while up on the high fields visibility was reduced to less than 100 yards as low cloud enveloped those areas of the Wolds above 150 metres or so. Typical November weather when we have an onshore easterly to south-easterly breeze. However it still remains very mild for the time of year, and it looks like winter will remain at bay for another week or two.


Of course the fog, low cloud, and drizzle didn't make for the best nature observing conditions, though despite that there was a striking amount of winter thrushes up here this morning, no doubt grounded by the poor visibility. Indeed at least 500 or so Fieldfare's were counted in the hawthorn scrubs of the area, while a 100 or so Redwing's were also spotted. Further interest this morning was provided by a good amount of fungi (by Wolds standards anyway), with a variety of different types seen in the woodlands and out on the dalesides, while the last of this years wildflowers can still just about be found here and there, the most abundant of which is now herb-robert.



14th (Mon) 5.3 C to 10.2 C / nil / nil / SE 1.4 knots
A cloudy morning, though at first there were some breaks in the cloud. Remaining cloudy for the remainder of the day, making this the eight sunless day so far this month in what has thus far proved to be a grey and mild November. Little change overnight with cloudy skies throughout.

Fieldfare’s were in the area again this morning, with a few heard chattering away in the trees surrounding the house.

15th (Tue) 8.2 C to 12.1 C / nil / 3.0 hours / E 1.4 knots
Another grey start, but as the morning progressed it would slowly brighten up with some spells of weak sunshine by the end of the morning. Remaining sunny into the afternoon (very welcome after all the recent grey skies), but cloud would increase again by 2 pm, with mostly cloudy skies for the remainder of the afternoon. Variable amounts of cloud after dusk, with some decent clear spells overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall below 5 C for only the second time this month. Indeed we still await our first ground frost this autumn.

A couple of Pied Wagtail’s were on the roof this afternoon, the first I’ve actually seen in the garden for quite some time.

16th (Wed) 4.6 C to 10.1 C / nil / 0.7 hours / SE 1.0 knots
A mostly cloudy morning, but nevertheless brighter than recent days with some weak spells of sunshine from time to time. Feeling cooler than recently too, with temperatures just managing to climb above 50 degrees. Cloud increasing again after midday, with cloudy skies for the remainder of the afternoon. However after dusk some clear spells would develop again in the evening, this allowing temperatures to fall away, but cloud would return after midnight, this raising temperatures with it.

50 to 60 Pink-footed Geese flew over the house around noon, heading south-eastwards. Meanwhile the two Pied Wagtail’s were seen on the roof again.

17th (Thu) 4.1 C to 11.6 C / nil / 2.9 hours / SW 1.7 knots
A grey and dull start yet again (this November is proving to be a dull one indeed), but as the morning wore on it would become steadily brighter with variable amounts of cloud and some spells of weak sunshine from about midday onwards. Little change in the evening and overnight, with variable amounts of cloud and some decent clear spells.

18th (Fri) 7.5 C to 12.8 C / trace / 2.7 hours / SW 0.9 knots
A bright day on the whole, with variable amounts of cloud and some spells of weak autumn sunshine, especially in the morning. However the cloud would become thick enough for some drops of rain in the afternoon, but this didn’t come to anything. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight, though as the night wore on it would become increasingly clear, this allowing temperatures to drop and mist to form by dawn.

North Cave Wetlands
This morning I popped over to my favourite local wetland site, on what was a mild but mostly cloudy morning with occasional brighter spells from time to time. The main reason for my visit was to catch up with the White-fronted Geese which have been seen here lately, a goose species which I have amazingly never actually recorded within the East Riding, and thankfully they were still there this morning with a mixture of about twenty or so adults and juveniles seen on Main Lake from the South Hide. It was good to see them and finally tick them off, but the geese were actually not that different from the resident Greylag’s with none of them really showing off the broad white-face of the best specimens of this particular species.


Also on Main Lake was a female Scaup, another new species for my East Riding of Yorkshire list which now stands at 198. If anything the Scaup was actually more interesting than the WF Geese, and was an obvious specimen with a clear white face. Sadly though it stayed in the far north-western corner of Main Lake, and I was only able to get a few distant record shots with my 32x zoom. Though the quality of an image at this sort of zoom is poor, it nevertheless is reasonable for my own uses and I really wish that I had this camera when my Dad and I stumbled upon the short staying Grey Phalarope on the 26th September 2007.



Meanwhile common winter wildfowl were generally well represented around the reserve, with good numbers of Pochard, Wigeon, Tufted dusk, Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal, and it was good to see the birds now back in their winter plumages (during my last visit to the reserve in mid-September most species were only just starting to come out of eclipse). Other good birds this morning included about half a dozen Snipe (always a favourite bird of mine), a couple of Redshank, and a delightful charm of about two dozen Goldfinches in the Maize field, while a lone Buzzard was also spotted to the east of the reserve. Also while watching some Teal (whose ringing calls along with the whistles of Wigeon are such a deeply evocative sound of these winter wetlands), I spotted a Stoat on the edge of the reeds on Reedbed Lake, it no doubt looking for a quick meal. All in all a good mornings birding with plenty to enjoy and admire (with Michael and Mom also joining us today).


19th (Sat) 2.5 C to 7.7 C / trace / nil / NW 0.3 knots
A misty and cold start, with the mist thickening into fog by mid morning with visibility dropping to around 500 metres. The fog would prove stubborn, and though it would slowly thin it would nevertheless remain foggy throughout the day, though by mid-afternoon it was perhaps more thick mist than fog. However though it would become quite bright in the afternoon (with the sun visible through the murk), it would nevertheless prove to be yet another sunless day, the ninth so far this month. The fog also prevented temperatures rising with a high of just 7.7 C, the first day this autumn that temperatures have remained in single figures. After dusk the fog would actually clear for a time, this allowing temperatures to quickly fall away, but the fog would reform later with it becoming quite thick by dawn.

20th (Sun) 2.1 C to 9.1 C / trace / nil / SW 0.3 knots
A foggy, cold and raw morning, with visibility reduced to less than 200 metres. The fog would thin somewhat as the day wore on, but it would nevertheless remain grey and murky throughout the day, with only some fleeting brighter periods during the middle of the day. Fog thickening again for a time around dusk, but as the evening wore on this would rise with overcast skies for the remainder of the night.

Deepdale (Calliswold)
On what was a very grey, foggy and raw morning here in the East Riding of Yorkshire, I would nevertheless venture out, heading for perhaps one of the highest of all the dales in the Yorkshire Wolds near Garrowby Hill. This proved to be an inspired decision as the fog would thin up here at the very top of the Wolds, with beautiful late autumn sunshine bathing the rolling fields and hidden dales above the 200 metre elevation mark. Indeed it was also much warmer up here, as the temperature was near 8 C, whereas back in Beverley it had been a chill 4 C when we left this morning.


The Deepdale area is one of my favourite locations in the Wolds, as there always seems to be plenty of interest year-round, and this morning wouldn’t disappoint. Indeed the morning had already started well when we had stumbled upon a small flock of Brambling’s amongst the beeches near Wayrham, while shortly after stepping out of the Jeep we soon became aware of a flock of about a dozen Goldcrest’s (a favourite bird of mine) in the hedgerows and Larch plantation alongside the road known as the ‘Bence’.


In another nearby Larch plantation we would also hear a Jay this morning, a bird which seems to be becoming more common in the western areas of the Wolds, while overhead a flock of Golden Plovers were heard, as were some distant Geese from the top of Bishop Wilton Wold. Meanwhile near Cot Nabb a couple of Roe deer were spotted on the opposite side of the dale from ourselves, always a pleasing sight. However the main interest this morning was provided by a fine fungi display in the currently ungrazed patures and dales of this area.



Most species up here appeared to be members of the Waxcap and/or hygrocybe group, and in places they seemed to absolutely everywhere, with colours varying from buffs to yellows, and from oranges to deep blood reds. I have never seen fungi so widespread before at this location (or indeed at any other location up on the Wolds), and many of the species that were seen are beyond my ID skills, but as a budding mycologist I was in my element and greatly enjoyed recording the variety of species which were on offer this morning. In the same downland grasslands some late wildflowers can also still be found, including the odd very late Harebell, as well as some stunted ragwort, and a fair amount of yellow flowering hawk-weed, especially on the warmer and more sheltered south facing pastures.



21st (Mon) 3.8 C to 11.2 C / 0.2 mm / nil / SE 0.5 knots
A cloudy and misty start, and though the murk would soon clear it would nevertheless remain cloudy throughout the day, making this the third sunless day in a row and the 11th such day so far this month, a new November record for my weather station dating back to 2003. Little change overnight, though the cloud would become thicker later with some light outbreaks of rain and drizzle by dawn.

22nd (Tue) 7.0 C to 10.5 C / trace / 0.1 hours / SW 1.8 15 Kt.
A dull and murky morning, with occasional outbreaks of drizzle and rain at times. However the cloud would lift in the afternoon, and after 3 pm would begin to break and clear, this allowing some short sunny spells prior to dusk. Any remaining cloud clearing in the evening, with clear skies for much of the night, this allowing temperatures to fall with a just a touch of ground frost for a time (the first of the autumn). However cloud would increase again towards dawn, with mostly cloudy skies at sunrise.

23rd (Wed) 2.1 C to 11.4 C / trace / 2.5 hours / SW 5.3 24 Kt.
A cloudy and chilly start, but by midday it would begin to brighten up with some spells of weak late autumn sunshine in the afternoon. The breeze would also freshen from the SW in the afternoon, this helping to push temperatures up to double figures. Remaining breezy in the evening with clear spells, but cloud would increase overnight.

24th (Thu) 4.4 C to 12.9 C / 1.2 mm / 3.7 hours / SW 5.6 26 Kt.
An initially cloudy start, the cloud thick enough to produce some spots of rain, but by 8 am this would begin to break up and clear with sunny spells developing. Thereafter the remainder of the day would see variable amounts of cloud with plenty of sunny spells in between, and all in all it was a fine day, something of a rarity this month. Clear spells at first overnight, but cloud would increase later with a short spell of rain for a time (with one distant flash of lightning seen), the sharp spell of rain accompanied by some gusty winds too (classic CF). Clearing later though with the cloud breaking up by dawn.

25th (Fri) 5.9 C to 10.0 C / 1.5 mm / 4.2 hours / SW 4.8 44 Kt.
A fine morning with plenty of sunshine, though feeling cool in a moderate SW breeze. However after 1 pm cloud would rapidly invade from the west, with a short spells of heavy showers in mid-afternoon (peaking at 12.8 mm/h). The showers would have ice pellets mixed in at times, and were accompanied by some very strong gusts of wind (up to 44 knots), and it was really quite wild for about five short minutes during the worst of the squall. Clearing by 3 pm with the cloud breaking up as quickly as it arrived with mostly clear skies by dusk. Remaining clear in the evening and for the first half of the night, but cloud would increase later with light outbreaks of rain by dawn.

26th (Sat) 2.9 C to 13.5 C / 0.7 mm / 1.7 hours / SW 8.1 34 Kt.
A grey and breezy morning, with some light outbreaks of rain, but this would soon clear with it becoming somewhat brighter by midday. The breeze would also ease somewhat by the afternoon. Variable amounts of cloud for the remainder of the day, with little change in the evening. However overnight cloud would increase again, with the wind freshening with it, and by dawn it became very windy with frequent strong gusts. There was also a short spell of heavy rain around 5 am, this accompanied by gale force gusts.

27th (Sun) 8.7 C to 10.1 C / nil / 3.6 hours / SW 5.0 39 Kt.
A very windy morning with frequent gusts in excess of gale force (maxing at 39 knots). However despite the wind it was a pleasant enough morning with largely clear skies and abundant sunshine. Cloud increasing however by midday, with showers threatening, but this came to nothing and the cloud would break up by the end of the afternoon with clear spells in the evening. The breeze also easing by the evening, and indeed by mid evening had become little more than a light to gentle breeze, this allowing the temperature to fall beneath the clear skies overnight to a low of 2.3 C.

Wayrham Dale & Pluckham Wood
On what was a lovely sunny but very windy morning, we headed up to this high Wold valley which we last visited back in the summer when Orchid’s, butterflies, and day flying moths were the highlights. Obviously today was very different, with the countryside now becoming increasingly wintry in appearance as the last of any leaves have been ripped from the trees during the recent winds, and indeed it actually felt really quite cold this morning in the strong WNW breeze. However in what has been such a mild autumn thus far I welcome the bite in the wind, and one finally feels that perhaps winter is just around the corner, a season which I actually quite enjoy to be honest.



However despite the lateness of the season their is still plenty of life in the countryside, and indeed despite the fact that December is less than a week away some late wildflowers can still be found in the grassland dales and woods, including the likes of Herb-robert, Hawkweed, and thistles. There was also a good abundance of fungi on show this morning, continuing what has been an excellent year for these interesting organisms, including what was a superb little clump of Woodland Parasol’s in the mixed plantation near Bradeham Dale. In Pluckham dale there was also a good variety of typical decaying wood fungi, including what I think were Velvet Shanks, and indeed one of the old Ash trees here in this dale has lost its core to fungi infestation and now stands hollow, though remains nevertheless very much alive.


Meanwhile bird life was also well represented this morning, with good flocks of mixed finches & tits, including some Brambling’s amongst them, while the hawthorn scrubs hosted winter thrushes (mostly Redwing’s). In Pluckham dale a flock of about a dozen Bullfinches was another highlight, these pink finches being a favourite of mine, though this sighting was to be over-shadowed by what appeared to be a Rough-legged Buzzard overhead, a new bird for me. Though I am not a 100% confident in my identification of this winter visiting raptor, I nevertheless got some decent photographs of the bird and the more I look at them the more convinced I become. Of further interest this morning were a couple of Stoat (one of which was massive by Stoat standards and is perhaps the largest I‘ve ever seen), along with plenty of Hare in the grassy dales and up on the windswept fields. An interesting morning.



28th (Mon) 2.3 C to 12.7 C / nil / 0.4 hours / SW 5.3 26 Kt.
An initially clear and cold start, but by 8 am stratocumulus spread in from the WSW with cloudy skies for the remainder of the morning, and indeed most of the afternoon. However after 3 pm the cloud would begin to break up, with clear spells during the evening, but cloud would increase again by 9 pm with mostly cloudy skies for the remainder of the night. The breeze also freshening overnight.

The recent winds have pulled most of the remaining leaves down, with the vast majority of the local woods and trees now standing bare in their winter cloaks. Indeed even the Beech is now largely bare, bar some of the lower leaves, and the wind has blown the fallen leaves into piles up against the wall in the front yard.

29th (Tue) 3.0 C to 13.8 C / 2.3 mm / 2.5 hours / SW 6.4 38 Kt.
A very mild, blustery, and cloudy start, but after 9 am the cloud would begin to break and clear, at least for a time. The breeze also becoming stronger and more gusty with this clearance. Cloud building up again after midday, and it would continue to thicken as the afternoon wore on, bringing with it a short period of heavy and squally rain around 4 pm. At its peak the rainfall rate reached 52.8 mm/h and the wind gusted up to 38 knots. This would quickly clear though and thereafter the cloud would break and the wind ease, with the temperature also falling 3 C within an hour, a classic cold front passage. Clear spells overnight with a low of 3.8 C.

I sent the pictures of the possible Rough-legged Buzzard to Birdforum today, and they confirmed that my suspicions were indeed correct. The general consensus is that it is a juvenile RLB, and is probably the same seen by Robert Fuller a few weeks at Thixendale.

30th (Wed) 3.8 C to 9.6 C / 0.6 mm / 4.3 hours / SW 4.8 29 Kt.
A mostly clear and chilly morning, with it remaining bright for most of the day, though high cloud would slowly veil the sun as the afternoon wore on. Cooler than recently. Cloud continuing to thicken in the evening and overnight, with the breeze also freshening, and for a time there was a short period of rain. This would clear by the end of the night though with clear skies by dawn. The breeze also easing by dawn.

October 2011

1st (Sat) 11.8 C to 26.9 C / nil / 10.3 hours / SE 0.4 knots
A clear start to October, with a heavy dew, and it would remain sunny through the day, though invading cirrus and cirrostratus would make the sun quite hazy at times. Under the sun and with south-easterly winds it would become incredibly hot for October, with a high of 26.9 C (80.4 F), this smashing my previous October record of 20.1 C set in 2005. Mostly clear overnight, though thick cirrus and altostratus would increase by dawn.

2nd (Sun) 13.5 C to 24.5 C / 1.4 mm / 2.7 hours / SW 1.0 knots
A bright morning, though mid level clouds would increase with largely cloudy skies by midday. Remaining bright but cloudy for most of the afternoon, though by late afternoon the cloud would become much thicker with a somewhat dull end to the day. Very warm again though despite the cloud, with a high of 24.5 C. The cloud becoming ever thicker after dusk with a period of rain between 8 and 10 pm, but this would clear away by midnight. A mild night.

A Brimstone butterfly was seen in the garden a few times today, this becoming the first ever Brimstone that I have recorded in October. Meanwhile Red Admiral’s are still around in good numbers, though perhaps not as high as in some recent autumn’s, and indeed the other late butterfly species like Comma and Speckled Wood have been noticeable by their absence recently. In the evening at least three Bat’s can be seen flying around the garden at the moment, while in the mornings Skylarks & Pipits can be heard frequently passing overhead as they make there way southwards on migration. Three Swallow’s were also seen today, notable as during the last week only very few hirundines have been seen, and all of them have been Martin’s.


3rd (Mon) 13.5 C to 25.0 C / nil / 9.0 hours / SW 4.5 knots
A bright and very warm start to the day, the temperature above 14 C at dawn, and it would remain sunny and warm throughout the day, the temperature rising again to an unseasonable high of 25.0 C. However in late afternoon it would become quite gusty, with gusts to 32 knots, and it would remain windy into the evening. Variable amounts of cloud overnight and remaining breezy.

4th (Tue) 9.9 C to 16.6 C / nil / 1.1 hours / SW 4.1 knots
A bright start but by mid morning cloud would increase with overcast skies by midday. Remaining mostly cloudy throughout the afternoon, though there were some brighter periods too, and feeling much cooler with a high of just 16.6 C. A moderate breeze also made it feel that bit cooler. Mostly cloudy overnight.

5th (Wed) 11.8 C to 21.0 C / 2.3 mm / 2.2 hours / SW 6.4 knots
A grey morning, with cloudy skies, though feeling somewhat warmer again. The cloud breaking up somewhat in the afternoon, with some sunny spells at times, and though it was increasingly breezy it was very warm again for the time of year with a high of 21 C. Variable amounts of cloud at first in the evening, but later cloud would increase with outbreaks of rain for a time overnight. This would soon clear, but blustery showers would follow later in the night.

6th (Thu) 8.2 C to 12.1 C / 2.1 mm / 5.5 hours / W 7.3 knots
A breezy and chilly day with a mixture of sunny spells and blustery showers, one or two of which were quite heavy (though the strong and gusty winds which accompanied them made the showers sound somewhat heavier than perhaps they were in reality). Temperatures struggling to just 12.1 C, very different from the 26.9 C earlier in the week, and in the breeze (which gusted to 35 knots) it felt really quite chilly. Showers dying out in the evening with variable amounts of cloud overnight. The breeze would ease somewhat too, with temperatures falling to 6.2 C.

7th (Fri) 6.2 C to 15.2 C / trace / 4.0 hours / NW 5.5 knots
A cold and blustery morning, with variable amounts of cloud, though after 9 am the morning would see mostly cloudy skies. However in the afternoon some decent sunny spells would develop, and with the breeze also easing somewhat it would feel much warmer with a high of 15.2 C. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening, some of which was thick enough for a few drops of rain, and after some clear spells at first overnight, cloud would again increase later with cloudy skies by dawn.

Noticed Orion for the first time this autumn prior to dawn, with it standing high to the SW prior to 6 am. Jupiter however continues to dominate the morning sky, with it being easily the brightest object in the night sky from about 10 pm onwards and remains visible in the western sky well after dawn.
Meanwhile the bird feeding station has been attracting quite a few Greenfinches at the moment, with about 10 seen at one point during the last week. Greenfinches had become quite scarce in recent years, as a national disease reduced numbers substantially, but thankfully numbers seem to be increasing again. Other welcome visitors to the feeding station recently have been Tree Sparrow’s, as well as a few Goldfinches, while I remain ever watchful for the first Redwing’s of the autumn.

8th (Sat) 7.3 C to 15.6 C / 11.3 mm / nil / W 2.4 knots
A grey and dull morning with a uniform layer of thick altostratus covering the area, and it would remain cloudy throughout the day. Indeed by the end of the afternoon the cloud would become thick enough for some light drizzle, and as the evening progressed the rain and drizzle would become more persistent and heavier (peak rate of 5.8 mm/h). Outbreaks of rain and drizzle continuing throughout the night and by 9 am a total of 11.3 mm would be measured in the gauge, the most significant rain since August.

Redwing’s were heard passing over during the evening, as the low cloud and drizzle forced them nearer to the ground. I expect the first in the garden will be spotted sometime in the coming week.

9th (Sun) 10.0 C to 18.6 C / 0.5 mm / 0.4 hours / W 5.3 knots
A damp morning with outbreaks of rain, but by the end of the morning it would become mostly dry. Indeed in the afternoon some breaks even managed to develop with some sunny spells, but the wind would also freshen in the afternoon, with gusts up to gale force for a time. Cloud returning by the end of the afternoon, the breeze easing somewhat with it, and remaining overcast throughout the evening and overnight. Indeed the cloud would become thick enough for some rain around midnight, but this didn’t come to much. A very mild night with a low of just 15 C.

10th (Mon) 15.0 C to 18.6 C / 6.9 mm / nil / W 5.7 knots
A grey and blustery morning, though feeling quite warm with temperatures in the high teens. The wind becoming quite gusty for a time around midday and early afternoon (gusting to 31 knots), but cloud would thicken by 2 pm with outbreaks of rain moving in, the breeze easing somewhat with the rains arrival. Becoming drier again for a time by the end of the afternoon and during the first half of the evening, but rain and drizzle would return later, and would continue on and off throughout the night. Another mild night with all the cloud and rain.

11th (Tue) 12.7 C to 15.1 C / 22.4 mm / 0.1 hours / NW 1.7 knots
A wet morning with persistent spells of rain and drizzle, with a heavy spell of rain around 7 am when a peak rate of 10.8 mm/h was recorded. Becoming drier after midday, with the cloud even breaking up briefly around 2 pm with some short lived sunshine, but this didn’t last long with cloud soon increasing again. Remaining cloudy for the remainder of the day, with rain returning in the evening, this becoming quite heavy and persistent overnight, especially towards the end of the night. By 0900 22.4 mm was measured in the gauge, making this one of the wettest October days on my records.

The Sprout harvest has now begun, with the harvesters seen working out in the fields prior to dawn. Meanwhile some Plovers were heard in the cereal fields.

12th (Wed) 8.6 C to 12.2 C / 7.2 mm / nil / SE 0.8 knots
A very wet morning with persistent moderate to heavy rain, though by noon it would become lighter and more drizzly. Remaining damp for most of the afternoon with fine drizzle, this making everything dripping wet, though after 3 pm it did become somewhat drier, though it would remain overcast. Indeed sunshine has been at quite a premium in the last five days, with just half an hour recorded and three of those days seeing no sunshine whatsoever. Remaining overcast overnight, with some drizzle from time to time.

13th (Thu) 9.0 C to 14.4 C / trace / 0.3 hours / SE 0.7 knots
A dull morning with overcast skies, and indeed after 9 am this cloud would become thick enough for some light drizzle, though amounts would be insignificant. Drier and a little brighter in the afternoon, but nevertheless remaining generally cloudy with only one or two spells of weak sunshine. Remaining mostly cloudy in the evening and overnight.

About 10 FIELDFARE’S were seen this morning in the Willows near Millennium Orchard, these being the first I’ve recorded this autumn. Meanwhile Redwing’s were heard passing overhead, while a couple of Grey Partridge’s were heard out in the fields. Also seen was a skein of about 50 to 60 Grey Geese heading southwards, but they were unfortunately just beyond decent ear-shot for me to identify them as Greylag’s or Pink-feet.

Thixendale
This morning Dad and I made our way north of the border, choosing to walk in the area around Thixendale in what is now North Yorkshire. The weather was grey, with some light drizzle at times, but it certainly wasn’t cold with temperatures a comfortable 12 to 14 C. Quite a lot of birdlife was to be seen this morning, with newly arrived winter thrushes in the fields and hawthorn scrubs, with Fieldfare’s being particular noticeable. Amongst a flock of mixed finches a few Brambling’s were picked out, my first of the year, while out over the open cereal fields Skylark’s were in good voice this morning, and indeed were quite plentiful, some of them perhaps being migrants passing through. A flock of Golden Plovers was also seen, while gamebirds are currently abundant throughout the region. Later in the walk we came upon a Little Owl, a bird I have not seen for quite a while (they used to regular when they lived in a small abandoned barn on the estate, but sadly they disappeared after the barn was burned down by some mindless vandals from Hull).


Despite the lateness of the year and the grey skies, a few butterflies were seen, all Red Admiral’s, and a few wildflowers are still just about going, including buttercups, ragwort, harebells, herb-robert, and some Wild Pansy’s (or Heartsease if you prefer). In the little covert plantations the beech are now lovely and golden, though in general autumn colour is still largely absent from the countryside, while berries remain abundant on the likes of Guelder Rose, as well as Haws, Rosehips, Sloes, and some late Elderberries. The Guelder Rose’s have particularly attractive fruit, hanging in bunches of scarlet red and glowing like Christmas lights in the sun, while the shrub itself has attractive autumn leaves which remind me of wild Gooseberry with their various shades of pinks, yellows, and subtle reds. If you are interested Guelder Rose berries are not really edible (certainly not raw anyway), and must be cooked prior to eating. However they don’t taste that nice, and too many can cause stomach complaints, so in my opinion they are best avoided, and you’d be better sticking with haws, sloes, and rosehips, which incidentally remain abundant throughout the local countryside.


Of further interest this morning was an active shoot, which involved a large team of beaters for about a dozen or so guns, and we came across the same party of shooters and beaters twice along our walk, firstly on the edge of Cow Wold, and then again in Court Dale (where the now decaying equestrian course can be found). I expect the shoot was organised by David & Julia Medforth from Raisthorpe Manor, whom not only generate much needed money into the local economy (especially in winter), but also do lots of good work for charity. Shooting is a crucial part of country life, and attracts people from all walks of life, and long may it be allowed to continue freely and legally.

14th (Fri) 10.3 C to 15.5 C / nil / 6.9 hours / SE 0.7 knots
A mostly cloudy morning, though from time to time there were some short breaks in the high based stratocumulus and/or altocumulus. However by the end of the morning the cloud would be driven inland, with clear skies for remainder of the day, very welcome after a week of generally overcast skies. Remaining clear in the evening and overnight, with temperatures falling sharply as a result with a minimum 2.2 C. Mist forming later as well.

The first REDWING of the year was spotted in the garden this morning, six days later than last year. This follows on from the first Fieldfare’s yesterday (which were some seven days earlier than last year), and the first Bramblings.


15th (Sat) 2.2 C to 14.5 C / nil / 9.2 hours / SW 0.5 knots
After a cold and misty start a gorgeous autumn day would follow, with wall to wall clear skies throughout and abundant October sunshine. Quite warm too, especially as their was barely a breath of wind. Remaining clear in the evening and overnight, with temperatures again falling into the 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

16th (Sun) 3.5 C to 15.5 C / nil / 3.7 hours / SW 1.6 knots
An initially clear and misty start, after another cold night, but cloud would invade from the west by mid-morning, this even thick enough for the odd spot of drizzle for a time. However by midday some breaks would begin to develop, with the afternoon seeing a mixture of sunny and cloudy spells. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight.

North Cliffe Wood
On what was an initially clear, chilly and misty morning, we headed over to North Cliffe wood near Market Weighton, though by the time we arrived it had become cloudy, with even some spots of drizzle from time to time. However I wasn't that bothered about the weather to be honest, though some sunshine would have undoubtedly emphasised the many golds, coppers, and yellows which can be found throughout this precious little patch of oak and birch woodland. Indeed my main reason for visiting was in the hope of finding some good fungi, but sadly the wood was lacking this morning, I perhaps having missed the peak of the season or maybe the extraordinary heat at the start of the month has delayed things somewhat. Certainly there was no sign of the Parsol Mushroom's which were just starting to appear last time I visited, and I was only able to find one single Fly Agaric on the edge of the heath.


However the lack of fungi this morning was compensated by a good variety of birds in the woodland, including a flock of about two and half dozen Redpoll's, my first of this autumn/winter. I love these handsome little finches, with their red fore-crown's and attractively streaked plumage, and amongst the flock a few Siskin's were also spotted, along with some Goldfinches and mixed tits. The mixed tit flock also contained one or two Marsh or Willow Tit's, but I wasn't able to get a good enough view to confirm which species they were (they also remained frustratingly silent). Meanwhile a Jay and a Green Woodpecker were heard in the wood this morning, while overhead passerines continue there migration with Skylarks, Pipits, Redwings, & Fieldfares all being heard at least once during our gentle stroll. A Curlew was also seen passing over at one point, as was a skein of about 30 Greylag Geese, these probably on there way to North Cave Wetlands. All in all a good autumnal morning beneath the golden canopy, with the wood to ourselves yet again.



17th (Mon) 7.4 C to 14.3 C / 1.0 mm / 0.9 hours / SW 5.5 knots
A mostly clear start to the day but by 8 am cloud would have invaded rapidly from the west with the rest of the morning seeing cloudy skies. However despite threatening rain it didn’t come to anything, and in fact the sun would come out again briefly in the early afternoon, but this was short loved with cloud again increasing from the south west. The breeze would become quite strong and gusty in the afternoon too, with a peak gust of 31 knots. Remaining cloudy into the evening, with a short spell of heavy rain around 8 pm, which in the wind sounded very heavy (peak rate of 61.6 mm/h). However this soon cleared with the cloud breaking up after midnight, though it would remain blustery throughout the night.

A lovely moonlit start to the day today before sunrise, with a three-quarter moon shining down brightly high in the south western sky. Orion stood proudly high in the south too, with Taurus likewise obvious despite the moons glare. Jupiter however remains the dominant star of the pre-dawn sky, shining brightly like a beacon in the west at around 6 am.

About an hour and a half later there was a fine, fiery sunrise too, and indeed I also think that October tends to produce the best sunrises and sunsets of any month in the year.


18th (Tue) 5.6 C to 11.4 C / trace / 5.0 hours / W 7.3 knots
A clear and chilly start, made to feel that bit colder by a brisk WSW breeze. Remaining sunny for most of the morning, but in the afternoon some cloud would begin to bubble up with some brief blustery showers developing around the middle of the afternoon, some of these accompanied by some strong gusts of up to gale force. The showers and cloud would clear away by dusk with mostly clear skies again in the evening and overnight, and the breeze would also ease, this allowing temperatures to fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

19th (Wed) 3.8 C to 11.0 C / nil / 6.8 hours / NW 4.6 knots
A clear and cold start, with a thin wind again, though not quite as brisk as yesterday. Remaining sunny for much of the day, though some variable amounts of stratocumulus was around during the middle of the day. Clear in the evening and overnight with temperatures falling to 1.8 C, this allowing a touch of grass frost in prone areas, though a gentle to moderate breeze prevented a widespread frost.

20th (Thu) 1.8 C to 11.1 C / trace / 3.7 hours / SW 2.8 knots
A clear and cold start, with patches of ground frost in rural areas (the first of this autumn). Remaining clear and sunny for most of the morning, but by midday cloud would quickly increase with mostly cloudy skies for the remainder of the afternoon. Becoming somewhat clearer for a time in the evening, though thick extensive high cloud veiled the stars, but cloud would thicken up again later, with even some spots of rain prior to dawn.

I observed a bright shooting star this morning prior to dawn, most likely one of the Orionids which peak tomorrow. Meanwhile the winter constellations now dominate the southern sky at dawn, with Orion surrounded by the likes of the Large and Little Dogs, Gemini, Taurus, and Auriga, while the spring constellation of Leo is high in the south east.

21st (Fri) 3.3 C to 14.7 C / nil / 3.3 hours / SW 2.7 knots
A cloudy and grey start, the cloud thick enough for some spots of rain at times. Remaining cloudy through the morning but after midday it did begin to slowly brighten up with some spells of sunshine by the middle of the afternoon. It would remain bright for the remainder of the afternoon, with temperatures a little higher today than recently. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight, though skies would clear later. However it was a much milder night thanks to a gentle to moderate southerly breeze.

The odd Red Admiral continues to be seen in the garden on the sunnier days, including a few today in the Ivy.

22nd (Sat) 8.3 C to 12.3 C / nil / 8.8 hours / SW 1.5 knots
A fine start, with mostly clear skies and remaining mostly clear and sunny for the remainder of the day, bar the odd bit of cloud from time to time. Remaining clear during the evening and at first overnight, but cloud would increase from the south later with overcast skies by dawn.

23rd (Sun) 7.5 C to 16.4 C / nil / 2.0 hours / SE 3.4 knots
A grey, overcast and somewhat murky morning, with visibility barely more than five to seven miles. However it would brighten up somewhat by the end of the morning, with some hazy spells of sunshine at times in the afternoon, though after 3 pm it would become increasingly cloudy again, and would remain so till dusk. Remaining mostly cloudy in the evening and overnight, though there were some breaks, especially later. Very mild overnight though, with a brisk SSE breeze keeping temperatures well above the seasonal norm.

Horsedale & Huggate dales area
On what was a grey and murky morning, Dad and I made our way up to Huggate, which today was hosting a special event by the ‘Ride Yorkshire’ folks whom have just recently started a Yorkshire Wolds ride. We met quite a few riders, with there mounts varying greatly in quality and size, and the riders were mostly friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Personally I think the Ride Yorkshire idea is a great one and I wish them luck in their plans, for the Wolds are custom made for equestrian activities thanks to the many bridleways and wide drove roads. Indeed I’d much rather have horses running around than dogs, as too few dog owners seem to be aware of just how disruptive their over pampered animals are, not least to farm animals but also to game birds. Indeed many a shoot and hunt can be completely ruined by one stupid and daft dog, and I appeal to all dog owners out there to keep their dogs under control, ideally on a long lead.


Other than the activities of the horse riders our walk was largely uneventful this morning, with just a few Redwing’s heard now and then, and Hares out in the winter cereal fields. A few wildflowers are also still to be seen despite the frost earlier in the week, with the last white trumpets of Bindweed, while in the grassland meadows the very last of the Knapweed and Harebells can still be found here and there. Meanwhile a new bench overlooking Horsedale was of some interest too, and it is of a most unusual and imaginative design, with some text written upon its length, and it would seem that it has been put there by the National Trails organisation. I wonder if this is just a one off or whether the National Trails are planning any others along the length of the Wolds Way?


24th (Mon) 10.7 C to 13.9 C / 1.2 mm / 2.9 hours / SE 7.5 knots
A mild and blustery morning, with variable amounts of fractured cloud blowing swiftly across the sky on the SSE breeze. Cloud increasing in the afternoon, with cloudy skies by mid afternoon, and the breeze would become increasingly blustery with gusts of up to 30 knots. Remaining cloudy and blustery overnight, with some outbreaks of rain later, and with the cloud and wind it would be another very mild night with a low of just 11.3 C.

Lots of Redwing’s were heard passing over prior to dawn this morning, they perhaps part of a second wave as the winds have become more favourable again (SE this morning). Indeed after an initial rush earlier in the month, very few winter thrushes have been subsequently seen, perhaps indicating that they are moving rapidly south and west this year and not hanging around. What does this indicate, if anything, about the coming winter ?


25th (Tue) 11.3 C to 14.6 C / 7.2 mm / 1.8 hours / SE 0.9 knots
A damp start with some mostly light outbreaks of rain, though after 7 am it would become mostly dry. Remaining dull and overcast for most of the morning, though after midday it would begin to brighten up with even some spells of sunshine in the afternoon. However by and large it would remain on the cloudy side. Cloud increasing again in the evening, with a spell of heavy and thundery rain around 8 pm (peak rate of 25.6 mm/h). This came as quite a surprise, with some of the rumbles very loud and booming, while the rain had some ice pellets mixed in with it at first. Clearing by 9 pm with variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the night, and becoming a little misty by dawn.

26th (Wed) 6.0 C to 12.4 C / 0.9 mm / 5.7 hours / SW 0.6 knots
A raw and murky start, with a light mist and everything dripping wet after yesterday evenings heavy and thundery rain. However as the morning progressed it would become steadily brighter, and indeed by the afternoon it became mostly clear with long spells of autumn sunshine for the remainder of the day. Remaining clear in the evening and the first half of the night, but cloud would increase later with outbreaks of light rain by dawn.

Fieldfare’s & Redwing’s were heard this morning out in the fields and woods.

27th (Thu) 6.2 C to 12.8 C / 4.8 mm / 0.2 hours / SE 1.5 knots
A damp morning with outbreaks of light to moderate rain, though by 11 am this began to dry out. However it would remain mostly cloudy for the rest of the day, though some small breaks in the afternoon allowed some brief sunny spells. Indeed the cloud would thicken up again in the evening with some further outbreaks of rain. This rain would clear overnight, and with the skies clearing temperatures would fall with a low of 3.9 C, this also encouraging some patches of mist and fog to form by dawn.

28th (Fri) 3.9 C to 11.7 C / nil / 8.0 hours / SW 0.6 knots
A clear start with patches of mist and fog here and there, and it would remain largely clear throughout the day with lots of autumn sunshine. Cooler though, with a modest high of 11.7 C. Remaining clear in the evening and at first overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall to 2.8 C, but cloud would increase after midnight with overcast skies by dawn.

The stars were very clear prior to dawn this morning, with the rich star-field of the Milky Way obvious crossing the dark sky above. In the south west Orion stood high and proud, dominating the sky, and it was clear enough to clearly pick out the shape of his hunting bow, something which is not always that easy, while the Orion Nebula in his sword was clearly a fuzzy patch with the naked eyes.

29th (Sat) 2.8 C to 13.2 C / 0.6 mm / 0.7 hours / SW 2.6 knots
An overcast and grey morning, it remaining dull well into the morning (if those damned ‘lighter later’ people have their way it well remain dark till nearly 9 am at this time of year with GMT +2). It would become somewhat brighter by the afternoon, with even some weak spells of sunshine, but nevertheless it would remain largely cloudy, with the cloud again increasing by the end of the afternoon. Indeed there would be some rain during the evening, but this didn’t last long, with the rest of the night seeing dry but nevertheless mostly cloudy skies. A mild night with the blanket of cloud.

A flock of about 60 Golden Plovers flew over the area this morning. Winter thrushes were also heard, mostly Redwings.

30th (Sun) 8.0 C to 16.5 C / 0.4 mm / 3.2 hours / SW 0.9 knots
A grey morning with lots of cloud, though as we have now returned to good old GMT it does mean that it is again lighter in the mornings, most welcome indeed for any early riser. Becoming slowly brighter as the morning progressed, and indeed by the afternoon it would become increasingly sunny with a fine end to the afternoon. Very mild as well, with a high of 16.5 C. Clear spells at first overnight, though high cloud veiled the stars, but cloud would increase later with some rain by dawn. Temperatures also rising with the cloud, so that by dawn it was already nearly 15 C.

31st (Mon) 8.0 C to 17.5 C / 0.2 mm / 0.7 hours / SW 2.0 knots
A very mild start to the day (15 C at 6 am), with overcast skies and occasional outbreaks of light rain. Remaining cloudy and mild throughout much of the day, though in the afternoon one or two brighter spells would develop, with even some sunshine. Mostly cloudy in the evening and overnight, with some light rain by dawn. Another mild night.

A Green Woodpecker was heard near New Model Farm this morning. With the clocks going back over the weekend the mornings are much lighter again thankfully, and its nice to be able to see the countryside again in daylight. I much prefer lighter mornings and darker evenings, and I hope with all my heart that the selfish interests of the urban and southern middle class don’t rob us of these lighter mornings next year. Such people seem to have no romance or love of the natural world in their cold and lifeless souls.