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May 2011

1st (Sun) 6.0 C to 15.8 C / nil / 14.5 hours / E 4.0 knots
A sunny and clement day, with wall to wall sunshine throughout. However the brisk E to SE breeze remains, this preventing temperatures from rising very high with a modest maximum of 16 C, though out of the wind in any sun traps it felt very warm indeed. Remaining clear overnight, and with a lighter breeze this allowed temperatures to fall quite a bit with a minimum of 4 C.

At least a couple of SWIFTS were seen over the skies of Beverley this evening, the first of 2011. They had been long expected and I’ve been keeping an eye out for them over the past week, though I think the fresh north-easterly and easterly breezes we’ve been having have delayed there arrival by probably a few days.

North Cliffe Wood
Paid another visit to this lovely little woodland, again primarily to see the wonderful Bluebell spectacle which is now very much at its best. Indeed in many corners of the wood the scene was one of great natural beauty, with narrow paths winding there way through the carpets of blue blooms, with the whitening hedges of Hawthorn providing a backdrop to the scene along the woodlands perimeter. The white flowers of Stitchwort are still to be seen at there best too, these mixed in amongst the Bluebells here and there, though as the forest canopy above has now already expanded, and the grasses have swamped all but the most vigorous of flowers on the forest floor, the more delicate early flowers such as Violets, Wood Sorrel, and Primrose are now largely finished for another year (however Wood Sorrel can still be found in the less rich soils of the Birch wood).

In the areas of the wood dominated by Birch, the ferns are now rapidly unfurling and expanding, this heralding an end to the glories of spring, and the start of summer. The brisk easterly breeze meant that much of the bird song was difficult to hear this morning, especially along the woods eastern edge, though it the calmer heart of the wood warblers were again heard in great plenitude, with Willow warblers & Blackcap’s the dominated voices. However more notable was the hearing of a Garden Warbler, my first of the year. All in all a very pleasant morning in what is becoming one of my favourite corners of this rural county.

2nd (Mon) 3.9 C to 13.7 C / nil / 8.3 hours / E 4.9 knots
A clear and sunny start again, though after 10 am some cloud would bubble up, this meaning that the majority of today was more a day of sunny spells rather than unbroken sunshine. The cool and fresh easterly breeze continues to add a chill to the air as well, and indeed its increased briskness today saw temperatures struggle to less than 14 C. Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight, with some decent clear spells allowing temperatures to fall below 4 C.

A Green-veined White was seen in the garden today, the first for sure I’ve seen this year.

3rd (Tue) 4.7 C to 13.0 C / nil / 7.0 hours / E 2.3 knots
A cool and breezy morning, with sunny spells and a scattering of broken Cumulus coming in off the sea. The rest of the day would see a mixture of sunny and cloudier spells, though after mid-afternoon it did become increasingly clear, the breeze also easing at the same time. Remaining clear in the evening and overnight, and under these clear skies the temperature would fall considerably, with a minimum of -1.0 C, only the third air frost I’ve recorded during May.

The incredibly dry spring that we have thus far had is continuing onwards, and as the dry weather has been exasperated by the one of the warmest April’s on record, and dry easterly winds have likewise done much to remove what little moisture there is, the countryside is now beginning to be affected. In moorland and heathland areas fires are now becoming a widespread problem, while some crops, including Rapeseed, are aborting there attempts to flower. Indeed in the past 64 days (over 9 weeks) just 9.7 mm’s has been recorded here in Beverley, with some areas of the East Midlands & East Anglia seeing even less than this. Hopefully we will see some rain soon.

4th (Wed) -1.0 C to 15.1 C / nil / 8.8 hours / SE 2.9 knots
A clear start, with a hoar frost covering the district. This would melt almost immediately with the rising sun, and by mid morning temperatures had already recovered to double figures. Remaining sunny for most of the morning, though by midday cloud did begin to increase from the ESE and indeed during the first half of the afternoon it would be quite cloudy, though there were still some spells of sunshine from time to time. The cloud breaking up again by 4 pm, with a fine end to the day, and during the evening and first half of the night it would be mostly clear, though extensive cirrus veiled the stars. However cloud would increase later, with a layer of altostratus covering the sky by dawn.

5th (Thu) 2.5 C to 18.8 C / nil / 2.7 hours / SE 1.9 knots
A bright but cloudy day by and large, though in the afternoon there were some spells of hazy sunshine. Becoming increasingly warm and humid through the day as well, and by late afternoon it was feeling quite thundery. Indeed the sky became increasingly dark in the evening, with threatening clouds to the west, though this came to nothing and it would remain dry. Remaining mostly cloudy overnight, and it would remain warm and muggy with temperatures barely falling below 10 C.

Swifts heard screeching overhead in the evening, and what with the muggy weather it felt and heard very summer like.

6th (Fri) 9.5 C to 21.6 C / nil / 3.1 hours / SE 1.3 knots
A cloudy morning, though as the morning progressed it would become somewhat brighter, with some spells of hazy sunshine breaking through by midday. Remaining bright for much of the afternoon, and becoming very warm with a high of 21.6 C. Quite muggy too. Cloud increasing again by the end of the afternoon, and like yesterday evening becoming quite threatening, though again this came to nothing. However the overcast skies would persist through the night, this holding temperatures above 11 C.

The Cow Parsley is now widely out alongside the rural roads, though the lack of rain is meaning it is not as lush as usual. Indeed this is true of many plants now, and hopefully rain this weekend will help re-enrich the countryside.

7th (Sat) 11.3 C to 18.9 C / 8.3 mm / 0.4 hours / SE
A grey, warm, and muggy morning, with some outbreaks of rain in the second half of the morning, this the first recordable rain since the 4th of April. Becoming somewhat brighter for a time after 1 pm, with even a little bit of hazy sunshine, but cloud would thicken again by the end of the afternoon with some further outbreaks of rain, mostly light and intermittent. These continuing in the evening and overnight, and by dawn becoming somewhat heavier and persistent. It looks like the drought is over for now.

Between the 8th and 16th I was away on holiday in Scotland, and therefore no weather or nature diary entries exist for this period. However my Davis VP2 AWS was monitoring the weather during this period with the data below being obtained from this source, though sunshine data was obtained from a reliable third source.

8th (Sun) 12.8 C to 20.6 C / 0.7 mm / 10.1 hours / SW

9th (Mon) 8.3 C to 21.1 C / nil / 10.0 hours / SW

10th (Tue) 6.1 C to 19.4 C / nil / 7.0 hours / SW

11th (Wed) 7.8 C to 18.3 C / nil / 2.0 hours / SW

12th (Thu) 7.8 C to 15.6 C / nil / 9.6 hours / W

13th (Fri) 7.2 C to 15.6 C / 1.8 mm / 7.0 hours / W

14th (Sat) 4.9 C to 15.6 C / 6.3 mm / 5.5 hours / NW

15th (Sun) 5.6 C to 13.8 C / 0.3 mm / 3.5 hours / W

DAY ONE ; 8th May (Sunday)
We set off on our now annual Lochaber holiday at 6.40 am, departing during a spell of moderate and thundery rain which would soon die out after we got on our way. Our journey through Yorkshire took longer than usual, as the A1 (M) was closed to traffic today, this forcing us to take a more rural route through North Yorkshire. This actually was a blessing in disguise because the route itself past Thirsk and Northallerton was far more scenic, though to be honest it doesn’t take much to be an improvement on the A1 (M) route, which I consider to be one of the most boring stretches of road in all the realm. Crossing the Pennines between Scotch Corner and Penrith was as ever delightful, with the wide moors stretching away in the distance, with Oystercatchers, Curlews, and Lapwing’s seen beside the road. Some relatively new born Lambs were all seen up here. From Penrith we continued on and across the border and from here headed past Glasgow and onto Stirling. The castle and the William Wallace Memorial looked particularly dramatic today, this largely due to the weather which began to close in on us here, and indeed as we made our way north-west of Stirling we came upon a couple of pulses of very heavy rain. This inclement weather would remain with us until we reached Ranoch Moor, though from then on things would begin to improve. However I expect this rain is welcome for many of the landowners up here, as fires have been a problem in the past fortnight or so, and indeed as we climbed up to Ranoch Moor we came upon a small area which had obviously been recently burnt, with the low scrub all burned away and the Birches singed, though the fire most have been relatively low as much of the upper foliage seemed to have escaped undamaged.

Descending into Glen Coe the weather would further improve, giving us a fine view of the rugged landscape, and by the time we reached Fort William the sun was shining and sky was rapidly clearing. At about 3.30 pm we arrived at Lone Pine Lodge, being greeted by Andy, Jenny, and Michael whom had arrived some four hours earlier, and it was with relief to end what was a long and tiresome journey of nine hours. As ever the sheer beauty of the view that is afforded from this cosy cabin on the hillside above Torlundy was impressive, with Ben Nevis looming large to the south east, and the Great Glen stretching away northwards in the distance. However with the warm spring so far this year there is actually not that much snow on Ben Nevis, and though it still looks very beautiful with its more modest mantle of white it does not compare to last year when the snow lay much more widely. After enjoying a very welcome dinner I went for a short stroll around the area, and as I did so I was lucky enough to flush a Woodcock from amongst the Birch scrub above the cabin. In the trees Willow warblers were singing well, as was a Blackcap or two, while more distantly a Cuckoo was heard, the first I’ve heard anywhere this year. Overhead a large and markedly plumaged Buzzard was seen repeatedly, while fluttering past me were good numbers of butterflies, including a fairly large number of Orange-Tips. The Gorse up here is now at its best, the warm spring no doubt making it reach its peak a week or so early this year, and as one walked through the scrub one was rewarded with the sweet perfume of this handsome and rugged shrub. A fine way to begin our holiday in Lochaber.

DAY TWO ; 9th May (Monday)
Today Dad and I walked half way up to the Mountain Hut beneath the north face of Ben Nevis, on what was a mild but un-decisive day which would go from strong sunshine to heavy outbreaks of rain. Indeed cloud remained stuck over the peak throughout most of the day, and I would hazard to guess that rain was probably persistent on the windward side of the mountain. Passing through the woodland on the edge of Leanachan forest we heard the constant sound of Siskin’s overhead in the tree tops, as well as the odd Cuckoo. However the main highlight of the morning was the observation of a couple of Crossbill’s, and though I was only to see them fairly briefly through my field glasses I was at least able to see the characteristic crossed bills which give this species its name. The 193rd species for my lifetime list. Ascending above the forest we entered the open moorland beneath the mountains north face, hear we briefly spotting a Red Deer, while other creatures of note included many Meadow Pipit’s and good numbers of Skipper’s. After having an enjoyable cup of tea and a bite to eat we headed a bit further up the mountain, climbing as high as the natural tree line where the last of the Rowan’s and Birch give way to heather and rugged grasses. After reaching this far we headed for home, though on our descent we stopped at a couple of attractive view points which gave wonderful views of Ben Nevis and down to Fort William. A very enjoyable morning surrounded by rugged beauty.

In the afternoon, after a short dinner, we headed for the Nevis Ski area, where we had hoped for an ice cream at the Lochaber farm shop, but this was unfortunately closed and so we continued on to the gondola station where a new cafĂ© has opened since last year. Here they sold MacKie’s ice cream rather than Orkney ice cream, which is a pretty good alternative, and for 10 minutes or so we sat outside in relatively warm sunshine. However gathering dark clouds over Aonach Mor would soon bring a spell of rain, which would persist for some quarter of an hour or so and was truly heavy at times. Indeed by the time it concluded there were streams of water pouring across the car park, and as the sun came out steam would begin to rise from the sodden earth. After having seen so little rain in the past two months it was actually quite nice to enjoy a bit of the wet stuff.

In the evening back at the Lodge we enjoyed an enjoyable dinner, I having a venison pie, and as we did the washing up a beautiful rainbow was seen across the great glen, I actually being able to capture it quite effectively in photograph.

DAY THREE ; 10th May (Tuesday)
A very wet morning meant that activity was very much restricted to start the day, and I spent a peaceful morning at the Lodge while the rest went into Fort William for some shopping. The rain was really quite heavy at time, and I wished I had brought a rain gauge to measure the abundant precipitation. As the day wore on the weather would slowly improve, and after enjoying a small lunch Dad, Mum and I decided to head for Glenfinnan which is to the north west of Fort William. Glenfinnan is the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed when he led his mini invasion and is marked by a monument which is situated attractively at the end of the Loch. I have visited previously, and from here one has a wonderful view of the viaduct used in the Harry Potter films. The rain became heavier while we visited here (indeed it was very heavy for a short time), and so we retreated to the car and drove westwards towards the coast.

Eventually we arrived at the Atlantic coast and drove along the stretch of road between Arisaig and Morar, this proving to be an attractive stretch of tarmac beside white beaches and through gorse covered hillsides. Out at sea one could see the Inner Hebridean Isles of Eigg, Muck, and Rhum, while to the north lay Skye, though the Cullins were hidden by low cloud and showers of rain. The shore hosted some interesting bird life too, including Shelduck’s, Ringed Plover’s on the beaches, a lone Diver of some type out at sea, and Rock Pipits & Wheatear’s in the fields near the shoreline. The weather also improved greatly by the time we reached the sea, with even some spells of sunshine breaking through, though the breeze did become increasingly fresh, all the more noticeable by the sea itself.

16th (Mon) 10.9 C to 16.5 C / 0.4 mm / 0.3 hours / W 7.2 knots
A grey start to the morning with outbreaks of light to moderate rain, but after 10 am this would clear away. However it would remain cloudy, and the breeze would also strengthen, this becoming quite fresh by mid afternoon with some gusts in excess of gale force (max 37 knots). A brief period of brightness would develop around 3 pm, but this was short lived, with cloud soon increasing again. The cloud thickening further in the evening, with a spell of rain arriving around dusk, but this would clear by midnight. The rest of the night would see largely cloudy skies, and it would be a mild night with a low of just 11.7 C.

Quite a bit has happened in the past week nature wise, with much of the blossom now concluded, as well as the Tulip’s. Heavy showers and blustery winds meant they had little chance of surviving till our return, and already the garden is now at the slight lull period which exists between spring and early summer. Indeed this lull is even more marked this year thanks to the exceptionally warm and sunny April. However there is still colour in the garden with the Alium’s still going strong, while in the past week the Wigella has come into flower. Some Hawthorn blossom can still be seen too, with the Midland Hawthorn’s now reaching there best on the Westwood, while out in the fields the Barley now has strong and full whiskers which sway about in the breeze. Oilseed Rape is also still widely in flower, but it is actually unclear whether many of the fields are now concluding or whether they are just those fields which have struggled to flower this year due to the lack of rainfall during March and April.

17th (Tue) 11.7 C to 17.9 C / nil / 1.3 hours / SW 3.5 knots
After an initially bright start with sunny spells, cloud would increase by mid morning, this thickening and looking increasingly threatening by noon. However it didn’t come to anything and in the afternoon it would become somewhat brighter again, with even some sunny breaks from time to time. Mostly cloudy in the evening and overnight, and very mild again with a low of 12.2 C.

The Lupin’s in the garden are just starting to flower, while the pink Clematis’ are just concluding. Indeed the one in our garden has already lost all its flowers, while that in the neighbours hedgerow is now well beyond its best.

18th (Wed) 12.2 C to 16.3 C / 0.2 mm / 2.7 hours / W 3.9 knots
An initially bright start with broken cloud, but by 8 am cloud would increase with cloudy and grey skies for the remainder of the morning. Remaining cloudy into the afternoon, with a short spell of rain around 3 pm, but this would soon clear away, and in fact after the rain the cloud would begin to break up quite quickly, with some spells of sunshine to end the afternoon. Becoming largely clear overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall lower than recently with a min. of 5.7 C.

Observed a Water Vole in the Long Lane ditch this morning, the first time I’ve seen for some time. It’s good to see this threatened species doing well in the area, and hopefully this will remain the case for some time yet. Also spotted this morning were a couple of Oystercatcher’s feeding in the Parkland fields.

19th (Thu) 5.7 C to 17.5 C / nil / 9.2 hours / W 2.2 knots
A clear and sunny start, and though it was quite chilly at first it would soon warm up under the late spring/early summer sun. Cloud bubbling up from 10 am onwards, and this would soon spread out to form stratocumulus, which would mean that by lunch it had become largely cloudy. Remaining cloudy but bright for the first half of the afternoon, but thereafter the cloud would break up again with good spells of sunshine to end the afternoon and in the evening. Remaining largely clear overnight with just patches of variable amounts of cloud at times.

20th (Fri) 6.8 C to 18.4 C / 0.8 mm / 4.5 hours / SW 2.7 knots
A bright morning with plenty of good sunny spells but as the morning progressed earlier cumulus would begin to spread out to form stratocumulus, so much so that by midday it had become largely cloudy. Remaining cloudy throughout the afternoon, and the extra warmth today was able to trigger some moderate to heavy showers around 3 pm, but these were brief affairs and didn’t bring any significant rain. Mostly cloudy in the evening, though some breaks did develop prior to dusk, and these breaks would continue to develop overnight with decent clear spells developing later.

The Swifts are now well settled in, there screeching calls filling the area with one of the real sounds of summer as they search for insects in the sky above.

21st (Sat) 5.5 C to 20.4 C / trace / 6.0 hours / SW 3.7 knots
A sunny and warm morning, the sun just somewhat veiled by fairly extensive cirrus and cirrostratus. However like recent days cloud would increase by midday, though it wasn’t quite so extensive today with some good spells of sunshine continuing in the afternoon. This helped to push temperatures above 20 C for the first time in nearly a fortnight, with a high today of 20.4 C. More general cloud increasing in the evening, this bringing some light rain at times during the night, though this would clear well before dawn and the rain was barely enough to dampen the ground.

22nd (Sun) 9.8 C to 16.8 C / 2.3 mm / 6.9 hours / SW 5.5 knots
A breezy morning with sunny spells and showers, these showers becoming heavy by the end of the morning with some hail mixed in too (peak rate of 38.6 mm/h). However after noon these showers would die out and the rest of the afternoon would see sunny spells, though the breeze remained fresh from SW and this kept temperatures somewhat depressed too. Clear spells at first in the evening and overnight, with the breeze easing, but later cloud would increase again with cloudy skies by dawn.

North Cliffe Wood
Today we paid another visit to this small woodland on what was a breezy but bright morning with some spells of sunshine (the showers reported in Beverley seemingly being absent on this side of the Wolds). The reserve remains very dry, with not a single area of water being seen in any of the ditches this morning, and I think the countryside needs a real soaking soon if we are to avoid a real drought this year. Indeed the warm south-westerly breeze this morning probably sucked out much of the moisture that has fallen so far this month, for though May has been un-doubtedly the most unsettled of all the spring months this year, the monthly total in Beverley is still only a modest 21.1 mm, while the spring total is a mere 30.8 mm, 20% of what would be expected by now.

Nevertheless despite the dry weather the countryside continues to move on, with the Bluebells now about 90% concluded, with just a few areas here and there still flowering. Stitchwort is still flowering well though, as are buttercups, while new flowers appearing include Herb Robert, Yellow Iris’, and one lone Foxglove. However the main stars of the wood now are the fully flowering Rhododendrons/Azaleas in the eastern part of the wood, with some of the bushes absolutely adorned in pink flowers from top to bottom, a spectacular and somewhat exotic sight. Birdwise it was difficult to see or hear much due to the wind this morning, but the usual warblers were heard, including Willow warblers and Blackcaps, and possibly also a Garden Warbler again.

23rd (Mon) 9.0 C to 17.9 C / 3.5 mm / 1.8 hours / SW 7.7 knots
A cloudy morning, with a freshening SW breeze which by mid-day became really quite gusty with gusts in excess of gale force in the early afternoon. The cloud becoming thicker and increasingly dark as well in the afternoon, with a short spell of very heavy rain around 3 pm which would see a peak rate of 37.4 mm/h being recorded. However after this rain the cloud would quickly begin to clear away with some good spells of sunshine developing in the second half of the afternoon, though by evening cloud would again increase, at least for a time. The breeze would also ease somewhat after the rain, but nevertheless would remain moderate to fresh during the evening and overnight. Variable amounts of cloud overnight and feeling chilly with the breeze and relatively low humidity.

The Magpie’s are currently very aggressive with any larger birds which land in the hawthorn at the moment, they undoubtedly defending there nest which this year is a top the said tree. However I did see a Collared dove fight back at one point, and it was actually able too successfully see off the bullies, somewhat to my surprise.

24th (Tue) 8.2 C to 16.5 C / nil / 3.3 hours / W 5.0 knots
A cool and blustery day, winds again gusting over 30 knots, and temperatures struggling to just 16.5 C. However there were some sunny spells at times, though the general theme of the day was largely cloudy with just some breaks from time to time. However in the evening the cloud did begin to break up more, with some late sunshine, and the breeze also eased. Indeed under clearing skies the breeze would become almost calm overnight, this allowing temperatures to fall away to 5 C.

The unseasonably strong winds in the last couple of days has broken off quite a few twigs, especially on the usual suspects like Ash and alike. It has also damaged some of the more fragile flowers, and has made butterfly activity very scarce indeed.

25th (Wed) 5.0 C to 18.0 C / trace / 4.4 hours / SW 1.7 knots
A sunny morning, and unlike recent mornings feeling quite warm, this largely thanks to much lighter winds today. However as the morning progressed the sunshine would become increasingly hazy as cirrus spread in from the west, and by afternoon this had thickened to altostratus with it becoming cloudy by mid afternoon. Remaining cloudy for the rest of the day, the cloud actually thick enough for some spots of rain in the evening, but this came to nothing in the end. A mild night, under the largely cloudy skies, though towards dawn the cloud did begin to break up somewhat.

A CUCKOO was heard this evening, the first I’ve heard this year in the East Riding. It seemed to be calling from Minster school, but didn’t hang around long and was heard for barely more than five minutes. Nevertheless a pleasing and welcome sound. Also seen today were newly fledged Starling’s, which together with the adult birds destroyed the fat cakes in a matter of hours.

26th (Thu) 9.5 C to 15.6 C / 4.5 mm / 1.2 hours / NW 4.3 knots
An initially bright and mild start, but by 8 am cloud had again increased and the rest of the morning would see mostly cloudy skies with lots of stratocumulus covering the sky above. However after midday some breaks would allow some spells of sunshine to break through, but the affect of this was to kick off showers, some of which would become heavy and thundery in the afternoon. Indeed one shower around 3.30 pm was accompanied by some decent flashes of lightning, including some quite near CG’s from which the thunder crackled and boomed. Showers mostly dying out by the end of the afternoon, with the rest of the day (and indeed night) seeing variable amounts of cloud.

Bempton Cliffs
Today Dad, Uncle David, and I paid a visit to Bempton Cliffs in the north of the county, my first visit of the year. The weather was grey and coolish, though thankfully the winds were mostly light and so it felt comfortable enough. On the walk down to the cliffs the first highlight of the day was provided by a couple of reeling Grasshopper Warblers, a species I don’t record very often, while other species seen in this area of wild meadow and scrub were abundant Pipits, Skylarks, and a Corn Bunting (this being the first I’ve heard this year).

The cliffs themselves were they’re usual busy and noisy selves, with the Kittiwakes making most of the noise, with the Gannet’s & Razorbills a close second. Guillemot numbers seemed healthy enough this year, and I was able to spot the odd ‘bridled’ individual here and there, while Puffin’s were as numerous as I can ever remember them being, with up to seven seen at one spot alone, while at least two to three dozen must have been spotted either on the cliffs or flying over the sea. However I did feel that there were less Fulmar’s this year, which if so is a great shame, but nevertheless at least a dozen of these handsome and graceful birds were spotted, with at least three individual nesting birds seen towards the north of the colony. The Kittiwakes appeared to be still on eggs, as I failed to spot any chicks, though many of the Gannet’s now have young, many of them already quite large, though I did observe one which looked like it must have only just hatched as it lacked the fluffy jacket which soon develops on Gannet chicks to protect them from cold North Sea winds. Away from the birds the Red Campion which adorns the cliff tops is still providing a fine spectacle, though I think it is already past its best, though it to may have not been as lush as usual this year owing to the dry weather earlier in the year.

27th (Fri) 9.0 C to 16.0 C / 0.2 mm / 1.0 hours / W 3.9 knots
A cloudy morning, and feeling quite cool too, though as the morning progressed it would become somewhat brighter though by and large it would remain cloudy. In the afternoon the sun did break through for a time, this like yesterday kicking off a couple of showers, but these were brief affairs and would die out by 4 pm. The rest of the day would see a mixture of sunny spells and cloudier periods, and cloud amounts would remain variable overnight, with an overwhelming emphasis towards cloud rather than clear spells.

28th (Sat) 10.3 C to 15.6 C / 2.7 mm / 2.3 hours / W 4.0 knots
A cloudy morning, and feeling a little cooler in a moderate westerly breeze. Indeed after 10 am the cloud would become thick enough for some outbreaks of rain, which at times were quite heavy (4.0 mm/h). Clearing by lunch, and though it would remain largely cloudy in the afternoon there were nevertheless some sunny spells too from time to time. A cool day again as well, with the temperature only reaching a modest high of 15.6 C. Cloud increasing again in the evening with it becoming overcast overnight, this cloud becoming thick enough for some outbreaks of rain after midnight.

29th (Sun) 10.0 C to 17.6 C / 5.0 mm / 3.4 hours / W 3.2 knots
An overcast start, with some early outbreak of rain, but by 8 am it had become drier, though it would remain cloudy till well after midday with extensive stratocumulus covering the sky. However after 2 pm a short but sharp shower would introduce much brighter conditions for the rest of the afternoon, with good spells of sunshine. However the breeze would also freshen, with gust of up to nearly 30 knots. Cloud increasing again in the evening, and as the night progressed the cloud would thicken with outbreaks of rain moving in by dawn. The breeze also dropping overnight, indeed becoming an almost dead calm for about ten hours.

Nunburnholme Wold & Wood
A pleasant walk in one of the most beautiful corners of the county, on what was an overcast morning with the threat of rain at times, though it would actually remain dry throughout. The countryside is now dominated by dark green shades, with the woods now in full leaf, and the cereals still largely green (though some Barley in lower regions are now an increasingly lighter shade). The Oilseed Rape is now largely finished, after what has been a very poor season for this crop due to the dry and very warm weather in April, while on Nunburnholme Wold itself the peas are now moving along after being sowed a few weeks earlier, recent rains no doubt coming to the rescue of this vulnerable crop. Bird wise it is now quite quiet, with most birds now with nests or indeed already with fledglings, while the spring wildflowers are now making way for the summer ones, including Herb Robert, Dog Rose, Clover, and the first of the Elderflower, though some of the earlier flowers such as Buttercups and Cow Parsley are still going strong along the roadside verges and footpaths. Near the village of Nunburnholme a whole family of Green Woodpecker’s were spotted, with at least three individuals seen, while on the edge of Nunburnholme Wold a Red Kite was seen hovering above the Wold side.

30th (Mon) 10.5 C to 12.6 C / 3.5 mm / 1.3 hours / NW 2.8 knots
A very wet morning, with persistent moderate rain, though by the end of the morning the rain did become somewhat lighter and more intermittent. Further outbreaks of rain in the afternoon, and due to the rain and thick overcast skies it was an unseasonably cool day with a high of just 12.6 C. However after 6 pm the rain and cloud did begin to clear away, with even some sunshine to end the day, and indeed by dusk the sky had actually become mostly clear. Remaining mostly clear overnight, and as a result it was quite a chilly night with a low of 6.0 C.

Elderflower is now coming into flower in the local hedgerows, though the vast majority of florets are at least a week or two from being in full bloom. Meanwhile Red Campion is still going strong along the roadside verges of the borough. though the Cow Parsley is now undoubtedly beyond its best. However in many ways this spring has been poor for wildflowers, or at least the later spring flowers anyway, as the dry weather in March and especially April robbed many wild plants of there usual richness.

31st (Tue) 6.0 C to 17.7 C / trace / 11.2 hours / W 3.4 knots
A clear and chilly start to the day but it would soon warm up under the late May sun which shone for the majority of the morning. However by midday this sunshine had encouraged some cumulus to bubble up, with a short hail shower around 1 pm. However this shower was very much an exception and the afternoon would see sunny spells with a scattering of large but non-threatening cumulus and temperatures hanging around a pleasant 64 degrees. Becoming clear again in the evening and remaining so overnight, this allowing another cool night with a low of 6.4 C.

A family of Starling’s yet again destroyed one of the fat cake feeders today.

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