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November 2015

1st November 2015, Sunday
Min 5.4 C, Max 14.4 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 1
A misty but bright start and remaining largely clear and sunny throughout with an abundance of late autumn sunshine to enjoy on this first day of November. However around dusk mist would quickly form with this soon thickening into fog as the evening wore on, this fog becoming quite thick by the end of the night.

Grosmont
With things continuing to move along nicely up at the cottage we decided to take some furniture up to Grosmont today, taking a few chairs, a kitchen table and a few other items as we start to finally think about moving in properly to our little Victorian railway cottage beside the swiftly flowing waters of the Murk Esk. The river itself had fallen overnight and was back to more normal levels whilst the sunshine today which bathed this little sheltered corner of North Yorkshire was surprisingly warm, so much so that two species of butterfly were spotted with a Red Admiral around the front of the house whilst more surprising was a very late Small Copper in the rose garden at the back of the railway station.This is also a new species for my Grosmont butterfly list.


Meanwhile a ramble around the now golden birch woods which surround the National Park car park revealed three Nuthatches chasing each other about, whilst as I worked in the garden I heard the distinctive sharp call of a KINGFISHER as it whizzed its way along the river. Unfortunately I doubt that these beautiful birds will ever fish beside our cottage as the river is quite fast flowing as it passes the garden but nevertheless it is lovely to see them as they move up and down the Murk Esk. Further notes of interest included a bumble-bee species up on Sleights Moor whilst a skein of 20 or so Pink-footed Geese were seen heading southwards, always an emotive and welcome sight.


2nd November 2015, Monday
Min 5.2 C, Max 10.7 C, Rain 0.3 mm, Wind SW 1
A very foggy start to the morning with poor visibility across the area, though from 9 am onwards conditions would improve with even a short burst of sunshine shortly before midday. However this was only a very brief spell of brightness with cloud and murk soon returning in the afternoon with this again thickening into fog by the end of the afternoon and into the evening. However the fog would lift somewhat overnight but despite this it would remain overcast and murky throughout.

A large movement of Pink-footed Geese was noted today with many reports from across the region coming via twitter and other such sources of useful info, and here at Wold Garth we too had at least two different skeins pass over as these wild geese made their way southwards. I wonder if they will stop off along the Humber or simply continue onwards to the birding mecca that is north Norfolk?

3rd November 2015, Tuesday
Min 5.8 C, Max 10.8 C, Rain nil, Wind SE 1
A dull and murky day with little to commend it, temperatures remaining in single figures throughout daylight hours for the first time this autumn. Little change overnight though temperatures would actually rise slightly.

The newly moved in family down the road seem to be continuing their almost daily slaughter of the trees in their garden, the once delightfully wooded garden which was once filled with birds and wildlife having now being transformed into an almost lifeless field of nothing with a great big house in the middle. I have always hated the sound of chainsaws so the last week or so has not been particularly pleasant for me, though of course my short-term discomfort is nothing compared to the far more serious loss of habitat that much of the local wildlife has had forced upon it. I don't know about you but I find myself at increasing odds against the rest of the "modern" world!

4th November 2015, Wednesday
Min 7.3 C, Max 12.5 C, Rain 2.8 mm, Wind SW 1
Yet another dull and murky morning with low cloud over the Yorkshire Wolds, this low cloud descending through the morning so that by midday it had become quite foggy here at Wold Garth. In the afternoon rain would also move in, this becoming quite heavy at times, and all in all it was a pretty dank afternoon with murk, rain and heavily overcast skies. Drier by the evening but nevertheless remaining overcast with poor visibility throughout the night.

Quite a few moths and insects have been coming indoors lately with a Red-green Carpet, a Twenty-plume and a Beautiful Plume having being discovered on the walls of the old homestead in recent days. Lacewings too are starting to take up their normal winter quarters in the darker corners of the house.

5th November 2015, Thursday
Min 8.7 C, Max 14.4 C, Rain 3.5 mm, Wind SW 1-2
Overcast and murky once more with outbreaks of drizzle and rain pretty much throughout, though conditions would improve in the evening with even some clearer breaks briefly developing around 10 pm. However these wouldn't last and skies would soon become overcast again. Very mild overnight as well with temperatures remaining in double figures throughout.

After a glorious start to November when almost 8 hours of sunshine was recorded on the 1st, the last four days have brought just a further 0.1 hours with no sun at all on the 3rd, 4th and today. Such dull weather is of course not unusual in November, especially when temperatures are well above average and winds are light, but this doesn't make it anymore welcome. Meanwhile the beech tree by the house has turned quite a bit in the last week (probably due to the lack of sunshine rather than low temperatures) and the slightest breeze brings down a flurry of copper leaves upon the garden. Indeed the gutters are rapidly filling up and will need to be cleared soon, especially since beech leaves are particularly slow to rot down compared to most other leaves!

Despite the weather it was a good night for the annual firework display at nearby Beverley Westwood, the climax of the show being as impressive as ever with a series of spectacular and colourful explosions lighting up the night sky. However I do always feel for the wildlife of the area whenever these shows take place and one can only imagine the stress and fear that the flashing lights and loud noises cause. However on the plus side it is only once a year and doesn't last much longer than 10 minutes, whilst my niece and nephew thoroughly enjoyed the show.

6th November 2015, Friday
Min 10.8 C, Max 15.2 C, Rain 11.7 mm, Wind SW 3-4
A damp and grey day once more with outbreaks of rain and drizzle pretty much throughout though in the evening conditions would begin to improve. Indeed after dark some clearer spells would develop but it wouldn't last with cloud and rain returning by the end of the night. Very mild again.

Moths
Very mild overnight conditions induced me to try a bit of late season mothing here at Wold Garth, though the threat of rain meant I had to use the old summer-house to give the bulb some protection from the elements (my trap doesn't have a rain cover). In the end just three moths of three species were attracted to the light with a single macro in the shape and form of an attractive Angle Shades, whilst the other two were micros and were represented by a Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) and an Ashy Button (Acleris sparsana). Whether this will be the last time I moth trap at Wold Garth I am not sure but it could be that Grosmont becomes the new home of the trap for the foreseeable future and I am pretty excited about what I might find up there.

7th November 2015, Saturday
Min 9.2 C, Max 17.6 C, Rain 0.6 mm, Wind W 4-5
A wet start to the day with persistent and at times heavy bursts of rain (22.0 mm/h) but by the end of the morning this quickly cleared away with a fine afternoon following with some good spells of sunshine developing. Exceptionally mild as well with temperatures climbing into the high teens and indeed prior to the rains final clearance around midday it felt very humid indeed. Clear spells in the evening and overnight with temperatures falling away nicely by dawn.

Grosmont
We would spend the whole weekend up at Grosmont this week, taking the opportunity to take bit more furniture up to the cottage, and also getting a little bit more done before the hopeful final completion in the coming week (fingers crossed!). When we arrived it was pretty wet, indeed there was a torrential downpour shortly after we arrived, and what with this and the heavy rain last night the Murk Esk was running full and fast, the river being almost a foot above normal at the ford with the marker board suggesting one and a half feet. However the weather would quickly improve once the rain cleared with some golden sunshine for much of the afternoon, this allowing me to enjoy a spot of birding around the autumn woods surrounding the village.


However the first highlight of the day would come in the garden as a trio of BRAMBLINGS were noted in one of the large beech trees further up the valley, these being my first Brambs of the winter. As I swept leaves in the garden a skein of Greylag geese numbering about 50 passed overhead heading westwards and up the Esk Valley, whilst the river hosted the usual resident Dippers and Grey Wagtails. A walk up past the church brought some close views of nearly a dozen Treecreepers feeding around the oak and beech trees which surround St. Mathew's, whilst the similarly tree creeping type bird that is the handsome Nuthatch was also conspicuously active with about three seen amongst the oaks. Walking through the woods was a delight thanks to the golden foliage, the low afternoon sun making the trees positively glow, whilst further up the hill a variety of tit species moved through the trees, including a few Marsh tits.


As evening fell upon the village a couple of Grey Herons passed over on their way to roost, one calling loudly as it cruised over in that way that only herons can, and as the light fell further the hoots of Tawny Owls began to fill the darkness which had descended over the Esk Valley. I had hoped to operate the moth trap in the evening but unfortunately a bit of rain put paid to that, but hopefully I will have more chances to try a bit of mothing up here in the not too distant future.

8th November 2015, Sunday
Min 4.9 C, Max 15.1 C, Rain 3.6 mm, Wind SW 5-6
After an initially bright and chilly start it would soon cloud over with outbreaks of rain arriving by mid-morning. Outbreaks of rain would continue on and off throughout the rest of the day, accompanied by a fresh to strong SSW breeze, whilst in the evening a particularly heavy spell of rain would pass through (peak rate of 17 mm/h recorded). However after this burst of rain the cloud would quickly break up with clear spells developing overnight.

Grosmont
I arose shortly before daybreak and decided to enjoy some early birding down by the river before breakfast, enjoying the stillness and dampness of the cool November air as I sat concealed on the riverbank. Soon I was joined by a pair of Dippers whom fed along the waters edge seemingly oblivious to my proximity, though being early it was far too dark for photography and I decided to simply enjoy the experience. Indeed more and more I prefer to leave the camera at home and just take my bins and notepad with me when I go birding, though of course I do realise that this does perhaps make my blog less interesting. Perhaps sketching would be the answer though unfortunately I can't draw for toffee!


After the dippers departed it was quiet for a good half an hour, this giving me time to note that the river had fallen by about seven to eight inches overnight, the marker board at the ford reading at slightly less than 1 foot. The last of the autumn leaves also brightened up the otherwise empty and peaceful scene, the river bank literally carpeted in leaves of many colours and hues, and every time the wind blew a flurry of golden and copper leaves would fall like giant snowflakes from the trees on the riverbank.


Eventually a young Moorhen appeared on the riverbank to provide some avian interest, this otherwise common bird species having only begun to recover locally after being decimated by mink, whilst a pair of Grey Wagtails also showed well on the opposite bank of the river, these busy and colourful wagtails being an almost constant presence along this stretch of the river. However the highlight of the morning would come as I was preparing to head back for breakfast, a flash of blue and a piping call from within yards of me alerting me to a beautiful KINGFISHER sat in one of the riverside willows. Being so close to such a beautiful halcyon bird was a fantastic privilege though it soon realised that I was there and flew off hastily upstream.


Meanwhile a late morning stroll around the village brought some unexpected surprises, including a Sainsbury's van which had got stuck at the ford across the river Esk. The water had been up to 2 feet yesterday and apparently the van had got into trouble whilst trying to ford the river in the evening, the driver having to be rescued by the fire brigade. By the time we arrived on the scene the van had actually been washed up against the foot bridge and even by the time we left the van had still not been recovered, the strong current and awkward position of the van making recovery difficult. It all happens up here at Grosmont!


9th November 2015, Monday
Min 5.5 C, Max 16.4 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 5
A mild, breezy and bright morning with some spells of largely weak sunshine, though as the afternoon wore on it would become increasingly cloudy and would remain so for the rest of the day and well into the evening. Variable amounts of cloud overnight and exceptionally mild with temperatures failing to drop below 13 C (the quoted minimum for the 10th being one of those statistical anomalies which often occur in winter due to official recording protocols at climatological stations).

A few birds of note were heard passing over the garden today including a skein of Pink-footed Geese heading southwards, plus a few Siskins mixed in with some Goldfinches.

10th November 2015, Tuesday
Min 9.3 C, Max 17.8 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 4
An exceptionally mild start to the day, the temperature just shy of 15 C at 6 am, and it would remain unseasonably mild throughout with temperatures rising up to nearly 18 C. However other than the remarkable temperatures it was a pretty uneventful day with largely cloudy skies and the odd brighter period from time to time as well. Largely cloudy overnight and remaining mild.

The first ten days of November have proved to be exceptionally mild, the current average temperature for the month being an unseasonable 10.9 C, some 4.4 C above the 1981-2010 average. Indeed today saw the highest November maximum ever recorded at my weather station since records began in 2003, the high of 17.8 C (64.0 F) beating the previous record of 17.7 C (63.9 F) set back in 2005.

Swinemoor
On what was an exceptionally mild morning (nearly 15 C at 6 am!) I made my way down to Swinemoor to see how things were getting on at my nearest local wetland. I would visit this location far more often if it wasn't for the fact I have to cycle right through Beverley to get there, and then have to do it all again to return home, but nevertheless it is usually a productive location for the 'patch' birder with interest pretty much year round. I arrived at the common just as it was starting to get light, a small bat species flying along the muddy waters of the tidal river Hull being a testament to the unseasonable warmth of the morning. Continuing along the bank a few Mallards and gulls flew overhead whilst as I drew closer to the developing floods on the meadows I could hear the distinctive ringing calls of Teal and the whistling of Wigeon, one of my most favourite winter sounds. In the end Wigeon would dominate the scene with well over a hundred crammed on the still modest winter floods, whilst a good variety of gulls, plenty of lapwings, hundreds of Greylag geese, and a Grey Wagtail were additionally added to my notebook, the latter being my first 'lowland' Grey Wag of the winter.

Back at home a skein of Pink-footed Geese passed over around midday whilst there seemed to be more Redwings about today with their thin high pitched calls being heard pretty much throughout the day, the garden yews also attracting a few to gorge on the berries. However I still haven't seen or even heard any Fieldfares yet!

11th November 2015, Wednesday
Min 11.9 C, Max 15.5 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 4-5
A largely cloudy and mild day though it was somewhat brighter at times, especially in the afternoon with even some spells of weak late autumn sunshine. Clear spells overnight and somewhat cooler than recent nights.

12th November 2015, Thursday
Min 6.5 C, Max 14.3 C, Rain trace, Wind SW 5
A largely bright day with some good spells of sunshine in the morning and the first half of the afternoon, though with a fresh breeze it did feel somewhat cooler than recently. Cloud increasing from mid-afternoon onwards and becoming increasingly windy as well during the evening, but apart from a little bit of rain around 10 pm the worst of the weather would soon clear away with variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the night.

Swinemoor
I popped down to Beverley's eastern most common again this morning, arriving at around 6.30 am just as first light began to illuminate the predominately flat & arable countryside which characterises the landscape of the river Hull valley. However Swinemoor itself has always been protected from the march of the plough thanks to its common-land status and has remained an area of preserved pasture since medieval times, the eastern most part of the common which lies between the river Hull and the Beverley-Barmston Drain often hosting extensive winter floods which are a draw for a good variety of wildfowl and waders, including a few rarities from time to time.

However today the scene was dominated by more common & typical winter fare with the whistling Wigeons again dominating the soundscape and landscape, their numbers being in excess of 200 and possibly much more. Also numerous were the Greylag Geese, amongst which were a number of other feral goose species which often confuse, myself included, beginner birders, though at this time of year it is always worth checking through them all for other goose species such as Pink-feet, White-front or even Bean. With a few Whooper Swans also in the area at the nearby nature reserve of High Eske I have also been hoping that a few will drop into Swinemoor but so far no luck. Still I live in hope.

Meanwhile other birds included plenty of Teal (50+ at least), a pair of Tufted ducks, Mallards, Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls and one Herring Gull. A Grey Heron also cruised over at one point whilst the woods east of the river were host to a few Redwings. Further interest was provided by a single Roe deer just outside the little riverside community of Hull Bridge.

13th November 2015, Friday
Min 5.7 C, Max 8.7 C, Rain 5.5 mm, Wind SW 5-6
A much chillier day than of late with frequent blustery showers, some of these showers being heavy enough to lower the temperatures to less than 5 C with even some pellets of ice mixed in at times. It is amazing to think that only a few days ago it was nearly 18 C! Further showers in the evening and at first overnight but becoming drier after midnight. However it would remain largely cloudy.

The weather has finally turned a little bit more seasonal today and whilst here in the East Riding we had only rain with occasional ice pellets mixed in, up on t' moors some far more wintry precipitation was reported with sleet as low as 200 metres towards the top end of Eskdale. Whether any snow settled up on Round Hill & Urra Moor (454 metres ASL) I don't know but I would have loved to have been up there to welcome winter back to these otherwise temperate climes.

14th November 2015, Saturday
Min 3.9 C, Max 14.4 C, Rain 8.5 mm, Wind SW 5-6
A chilly and cloudy morning, the cloud thickening as the day wore on with rain moving in around mid-afternoon. Though the rain was light and drizzly at first it would become more persistent and heavier as the evening wore on, the rain continuing for most of the night. Becoming very mild overnight as well.

Grosmont
Hoping to see a complete kitchen and all the electrics finally finished we arrived at the cottage with high hopes this weekend, but within moments of our arrival it became clear that once again nothing had been done. However rather than dwell on being let down once again we simply decided to enjoy the weekend and also get on with knocking down the large brick-built coal bunker we had inherited with the cottage. The bunker in question took up a large part of our back yard but with its removal, which took most of the afternoon to complete, we now have a sizable area to utilise for our own purposes.

On the nature front a new bird was added to my Grosmont & Goathland patch list, the bird in question being a Cormorant which was seen flying low over the Murk Esk as I enjoyed a breather in the garden. This is the 82nd bird species I have recorded on the patch since we acquired the property last autumn. Meanwhile a skein of Greylags passed over heading south-eastwards whilst the local nuthatches have rediscovered our garden bird feeders. Finally a GOOSANDER was also spotted passing over the river, the first I have seen up here since last winter.

15th November 2015, Sunday
Min 5.0 C, Max 16.5 C, Rain trace, Wind SW 5
After a wet start the day would soon improve with even some brighter periods developing by late morning and into the early afternoon. However the most noticeable feature of the weather was the warmth, temperatures rising up to 16.5 C, though it was also quite breezy with a fresh to strong westerly wind. Becoming cloudier again for a time in mid and late afternoon with some drizzly rain but by the evening this would clear away with variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the evening and overnight.

Grosmont
After a night of persistent rain it was unsurprising to see that the river had risen significantly overnight, the fast flowing and muddy waters flowing right up to the bank at the bottom of the garden. The ford marker board suggested the depth was over 2 feet and considering that not that much rain fell (no more than 10 mm's here in Grosmont) it will be interesting to see just how high it can rise after really heavy periods of rain. Indeed we had a chat with our elderly neighbour and he told us that once the river reached his greenhouse, an event which would have totally submerged our garden!

Before breakfast I also strolled down to the river Esk and whilst there were no abandoned vans in the ford this week the river was actually a foot deeper than it was last Sunday, the marker boards showing a depth of 3 feet as the strong flowing river rushed past on its way to Whitby and the North Sea some 7 miles eastwards. Returning to the cottage I disturbed a GOOSANDER on the river, the second of the weekend, though there were no signs of the dippers or kingfishers this weekend. The warmth of the afternoon brought out a late Migrant Hawker which was hunting around the river and the village, whilst the new bird feeders were busy with the usual variety of tits, chaffinches and nuthatches.

16th November 2015, Monday
Min 8.4 C, Max 10.7 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 4
A breezy morning with sunny spells though as the day wore on it would become increasingly cloudy with largely cloudy skies persisting throughout the evening and overnight. Feeling cooler than recently.

17th November 2015, Tuesday
Min 6.9 C, Max 13.8 C, Rain 2.9 mm, Wind W 5-6
A cloudy day with some outbreaks of rain in the afternoon, these being quite heavy at times (9.2 mm/h), and whilst it would become drier by the evening it would also become windy for a time with gusts in excess of gale force. However winds would ease after midnight with some clearer spells developing by the end of the night.

After running out of bird food the garden feeders have been ominously quiet for a couple of weeks but having stocked up on sunflower hearts again the birds have quickly returned, especially the finches with lots of goldfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches and bullfinches being an almost constant presence at the feeders. A Treecreeper was also noted in the garden today, a bird which I hear far more often than I see, whilst the redwings remain in residence, the warm autumn not inducing them to move on yet. However with snow on the hills forecast for the coming weekend, indeed blizzards are possible above 300 metres, one wonders if this will soon change.

18th November 2015, Wednesday
Min 5.7 C, Max 13.1 C, Rain 0.8 mm, Wind W 5-6
A largely cloudy day with some rain showers in the early afternoon, though by dusk some clearer spells would begin to develop. Variable amounts of cloud overnight.

19th November 2015, Thursday
Min 7.9 C, Max 11.1 C, Rain trace, Wind W 3
A fairly bright day with some spells of sunshine, especially in the morning, though the odd very light shower would also drift over from time to time, these barely dampening the ground. Feeling cooler in a moderate westerly breeze. Clear spells overnight with a touch of ground frost in places by dawn.

20th November 2015, Friday
Min 3.2 C, Max 7.3 C, Rain 3.2 mm, Wind W 4-5 (6 overnight)
A bright but chilly day with some good spells of sunshine, especially in the morning, though around midday a brief but moderate shower would drift down from the north-west. Clear skies at first in the evening and overnight, this allowing a ground frost, but after midnight showers would become frequent, these being quite wintry at first with ice pellets mixed in. It would also become very windy with a strong northerly breeze buffeting the house with gusts of up to 45 mph.

21st November 2015, Saturday
Min 0.8 C, Max 5.0 C, Rain 4.0 mm, Wind W 5-6
A windy and cold morning with a strong northerly breeze, this wind bringing with it occasional showers from off the North Sea which as the morning wore on would become increasingly wintry with even some pellet and wet snow down on the lowlands. However above 100 metres these showers fell as snow which by mid-afternoon had produced a light covering, this being the first snow of the 2015/2016 season. Most showers would die out by late afternoon with clear skies for most of the night, this allowing temperatures to dip a couple of degrees below freezing by the end of the night.

Grosmont & Sleights Moor
A wintry trip up to the moors today with a dusting of snow on the highest parts of the Yorkshire Wolds on our journey and far more snow up on the moors themselves, especially around Fylingdales & Sleights Moor where heavy snow made road conditions very slippery and treacherous, indeed we had witnessed two cars slipping off the road on the steep descent from the Hole of Horcum, whilst just thirty minutes after we had descended Blue Bank the road had been closed due to cars getting stuck on the steep climb. However thankfully we completed our journey with little incident and as we arrived in Grosmont we were welcomed by a heavy shower of snow pellets which gave the area a wintry appearance.


Once the showers began to die out I decided to enjoy a good long walk up and over the windswept moor above the village, making the 250 metre ascent up to the 300 metre summit of Sleights Moor. I love the cold and I have particular affection for snow which dates back as long as I can remember when I grew up in the Yorkshire Dales and the Pentland Hills of Lothian, the latter being a particularly snowy location where I was often fortunate enough to miss days and days of school thanks to snow (I hated school!). In fact as I grow older my love for winter and the less loved aspects of the natural world seems to only grow more and more and therefore as I crossed the moor with snow flurries in the air and a bitter wind sweeping in off the nearby North Sea, I couldn't have been happier, my thick winter coat, gloves and scarf keeping the cold firmly at bay.


With the meadow pipits, skylarks and lapwings having now deserted the heather moorlands it was eerily quiet as I strode through the empty landscape, just the odd Red Grouse disturbing the peace as I followed a line of grouse buts, whilst in the wetter corners the odd Snipe was also flushed up, at least half a dozen being observed during my walk. Down near the hamlet of Green End, where the snow was beginning to thaw by the time I reached it in late afternoon, a few FIELDFARES were noted amongst the hawthorn scrubs, and as I dropped further I fell below the snow-line and returned to the green valley which I will soon call home, stopping at one point to enjoy a quick chat with some countrymen and farmers whom were enjoying a spot of rough shooting in the fields and woods above Esk Valley, their gun-dogs being particularly friendly and impeccably well trained. From Esk Valley it was just a half mile or so to Grosmont, the muddy path taking me beside the heritage railway sheds where in the yard a single Roe deer was mooching about whilst the pastures above the village hosted a few Green Woodpeckers and Mistle Thrushes. Finally with the light fading fast I returned to our little Victorian railway workers cottage on the banks of the Murk Esk, looking forward to more such walks in the not too distant future.


22nd November 2015, Sunday
Min -2.2 C, Max 4.9 C, Rain 0.5 mm, Wind W 4
A clear and frosty start with temperatures hovering around -2 C at dawn, but by mid-morning cloud would begin to increase with a few sleet and pellet showers drifting down off the North Sea. These would die out for a time with some sunny spells developing again in the afternoon but a few further showers would drift over around dusk. Becoming clear in the evening and for much of the night, this allowing another air frost, but cloud would increase later.

Grosmont
The morning began cold and clear with the temperature a couple of degrees below freezing as I headed out for a short stroll before breakfast. Icy patches covered the road through the village but for a welly clad pedestrian such as myself conditions were fine, the deliciously crisp winter air being like champagne as I breathed it in deeply. Passing over the river Esk a feral goose of some kind flew under the stone bridge heading downstream towards Whitby, and whilst down here in the village only small patches of snow and pellets had survived from yesterday, the higher fields & the moors above still held a dusting which glistened in the morning sun.


Back at the cottage we spent much of the morning taking down an old rotten fence in the garden, though as we did so I watched the coming and goings of the garden birds. The most frequent visitors are the Coal tits, closely followed by the Blue and Great Tits, whilst other species noted included Chaffinch, Dunnock, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Robin. A Treecreeper was also spotted on the bird table very briefly, though I haven't seen any Marsh tits visiting the feeders yet despite the fact that they are commonly seen and heard around our riverside garden. A pair of Bullfinches were also in the garden whilst we worked away, a bird which is a frequent visitor to our bird feeders back at Wold Garth but which has yet to grace our feeders up here at the cottage, whilst perhaps my favourite garden bird, the diminutive Goldcrest, was also spotted feeding around the fir trees in the garden.

23rd November 2015, Monday
Min -0.6 C, Max 7.2 C, Rain 3.2 mm, Wind S 3-4
A cloudy and cold morning with a hoar frost at dawn, and remaining cloudy and chilly throughout with little to commend the day. After dusk the cloud would become thick enough to produce some rain, this rain becoming somewhat heavier and more persistent for a time in mid-evening, though after midnight it would become somewhat drier again, though it would remain cloudy nevertheless.

24th November 2015, Tuesday
Min 1.0 C, Max 8.9 C, Rain 0.7 mm, Wind W 4
A dull and damp start with outbreaks of mostly light rain but becoming drier by the end of the morning. However it would remain cloudy for most of the afternoon with a few breaks just managing to develop around dusk. Variable amounts of cloud overnight with some decent clear spells developing by the end of the night.

25th November 2015, Wednesday
Min 3.4 C, Max 8.8 C, Rain nil, Wind W 3-4
A sunny and clement late November day with plenty of weak sunshine bathing the broad acres of Yorkshire. Clear spells overnight with a touch of ground frost by dawn.

26th November 2015, Thursday
Min 3.5 C, Max 11.1 C, Rain nil, Wind SW 2-3
A bright start to the day with some good spells of sunshine but by the end of the morning it had become cloudier and would remain so for much of the afternoon. However clearer spells would develop again after dark with variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the night. A mild night.

27th November 2015, Friday
Min 4.8 C, Max 12.4 C, Rain 3.6 mm, Wind W 4
A mild and largely cloudy day though there were some brighter periods from time to time, especially earlier in the morning and again in mid-afternoon. However in the evening a period of heavy rain, which was accompanied by a strong and gusty wind, would sweep through, temperatures dropping nearly 5 C by the time it cleared away to the east. The rain was particularly heavy at first with a peak rate of 69.4 mm/h being recorded. Skies becoming clear overnight with temperature dipping close to freezing.

28th November 2015, Saturday
Min 0.3 C, Max 8.5 C, Rain 6.0 mm, Wind SW 4-5
A clear and cold start with a touch of frost but soon becoming cloudy with outbreaks of rain, some of which were quite heavy, arriving in the early afternoon. Windy for a time too. Outbreaks of rain continuing into the evening but as the night wore on the rain would become more showery in nature and would eventually die out by the end of the night.

29th November 2015, Sunday
Min 2.3 C, Max 11.4 C, Rain 2.9 mm, Wind W 6 (8)
An initially clear start but like yesterday cloud would increase through the morning, the wind also strengthening as the day wore on. Outbreaks of heavy rain in the early afternoon (peak rate of 27.6 mm/h) with some very powerful gusts of wind at times too, including a gust of 55 mph at one point, but becoming calmer by the evening with just the odd occasional shower. After midnight it would become dry and clear with temperatures dipping low enough for a ground frost.

30th November 2015, Monday
Min 1.6 C, Max 11.0 C, Rain 10.6 mm, Wind W 4
A cloudy morning with rain from 10 am onwards, this becoming heavy at times (15.2 mm/h), especially in the middle part of the afternoon. Eventually becoming drier by mid-evening with some clear spells developing overnight, this allowing a touch of ground frost for a time, though latterly more cloud and rain would return by the end of the night.

A few Golden Plovers were heard in the arable fields as I cycled into Beverley this morning prior to sunrise. Otherwise it has been exceptionally quiet on the home patch recently with very little worth mentioning, though a few Treecreepers have been nice to see during the last fortnight.