This diary entry is for the first half of October, I haven’t had much time to keep up with my posts, we are still working on the kitchen and by the end of the day we both want to put our feet up. I have still been out on my morning walks and I am seeing more birds about and they are singing even before dawn, I was on Hambledon Hill on the 14th October and there were small flocks of birds active before sunrise, the light wasn’t good enough to identify them. I even saw a Swallow passing behind our house on the 12th October.
You know autumn is well on it’s way when the Maize for animal fodder is cut, one of the last crops to be harvested before the weather takes a turn for the worse and then it’s on to preparing for next year, sowing winter crops and as in the case behind us sowing grass seed where the Maize has been cut. A Roe deer ran out of the maize as they were cutting it, it has been good cover for them for a while. I have seen them cross the field since, I will keep my eyes open and hope to see them again soon.
I did see three Roe deer down towards Shillingstone bridge from Melways lane about a week a go. On the same day I also saw two Herons towards Shillingstone, they flew towards the bridge as I walked towards the bridge.
Because I am out before dawn now as the time of sunrise gets later I have seen plenty of Bats as I’ve walked towards the Cross from home probably Pipistrelles, also some down by Shillingstone station. I’ve also been hearing Tawny Owls through the night at the back of our house.
We saw a smaller Grass snake than the one we saw a while ago, earlier in this month down Greenway lane before the nights got a little chillier.
I’ve seen a number of Stonechats in the cut wheat field under the Hill towards Shroton Lines.
I was sad to see the White Butterflies mostly disappear at the end of September, the image below was the last image I took of one, although I have seen the odd one around our garden.
The Ivy Bees have returned again this year right at the time the Ivy is flowering, there are lots of holes by the side of the lane to the garages at the bottom of Greenway and when it’s sunny there is always plenty of action. I took a short video which I’ve slowed down, they are so quick!
We are still getting other butterflies than the whites coming in to our garden this month. This week from the 19th October the weather is changing and perhaps they will disappear. A tatty Comma Butterfly and a Peacock Butterfly were visiting earlier on in the month and we have had at least four Red Admirals at a time as soon as the sun comes out on our Buddleia which l’ve been dead heading to encourage more flowers. Also quite a few Bees and the Hummingbird Hawk Moths were coming in most days, there were at least two, a smaller one which is apparently the male and the larger one the female, but again I haven’t seen them for a few days now.
A few more birds are returning to our garden including two Robins one at the back and one at the front, Bluetits, a Wren searching for insects in the old plants, one or two Blackbirds and of course our Sparrows. Still not too much of a variety but l’m sure there is plenty of food elsewhere. We are also getting a small murmuration of Starlings at the back of our house at the moment and they are voracious eaters!. I have also spotted a Sparrowhawk using the top of Greenway lane as a corridor to fly down as he checks out the gardens and also tell tale signs of feathers in the lane where he has had a kill.
Our Hedgehogs are still visiting as of this week although the food is not always completey gone in the morning but we regularly see one when we let the dogs out last thing at night. Always a problem, Tilly doesn’t bother them but little Mia wants to investigate, so a quick scan with the torch before they go out!
The Oak trees have been really heavily laden with Acorns this year, the Oaks down our lane is covered in so many I can see them from my house, apparently this happens every few years and is know as a “Mast year”. I forgotten how many times one has hit my head when I have been out for a walk! I have noticed Jays collecting the Acorns from the bottom of Greenway Lane, they store them and forget where they put them, handy for the Grey Squirrels!