Monday, 7 November 2016

October Highlights!

Weather: A shallow depression tracked east across the country early on, bringing some rain. However, the UK soon turned dry, as high pressure took charge, restricting temperatures to near the seasonal average. As the month progressed, increasing numbers of showers encroached from the east, becoming more generally unsettled. This was followed by a build-up of pressure, giving mostly fine weather. The last four days of the month were notably mild.

Places Visited: Amwell; Rye Meads.

Star Sightings of the Month:
Bird: Bittern
Butterfly: Red Admiral
Dragonfly: Common Darter

Greed and Apathy. The two most dangerous weapons to life on Earth.

Unfortunately, it was generally another quiet, fairly unexciting month. Mainly due to personal illness, which knocked me out for most of the month. However, the weather was not at its’ finest, either.

When I did get out, it was early visits to both Amwell and Rye Meads, with one further trip to Amwell late in the month.

The stand-out sighting, this month, had to be the Bittern at Rye Meads. A juvenile female, which had been injured, was brought in to the Reserve for release. It was still there a few weeks later.

I not only managed to see it, but to photograph it as well. In fact, RM proved to be the best place to go this month, with several decent, close-up sightings, including Meadow Pipit, Green Sandpiper and Snipe.

However, apart from this, it was in essence a very quiet month. Kingfishers put in very good appearances at both venues. Water Rails also started to show well. The first Goldcrest of the season appeared at Amwell, towards the end of the month. The Little Grebes were very photogenic!

The annual changeover between departing summer visitors and arriving winter visitors continued. Hirundines and Warblers, amongst others, have all checked out, while Redwings and Fieldfares have started to arrive, in some numbers, thanks to the strong easterly winds. October is the month for conkers and fungi!

More and more wildfowl were starting to show, in their beautiful winter plumage. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the really good stuff turns up.

Other than that, there wasn’t much else to report. Invertebrates, Butterflies, damsels and dragons have all started to disappear, their season over.

Red Admiral butterflies were the last to be seen, with Common Darter and Migrant Hawker the last Odonata. Jenny had kindly kept the Dragonfly Trail open a few extra weeks, allowing one final sighting of the Willow Emeralds.

So, all in all, a quiet month. Although November should prove to have something interesting to report. Stay tuned!

Do not judge humanity by the tiny minority who murder wildlife.
Judge humanity by the great majority who stand against them.

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