17th September

The high pressure system has continued to dominate our weather over the last week though it's not been quite as sunny as previously. The lack of change in the weather is mirrored in the birding which is sadly still pretty minimal. Even the Lapwings and Yellow Wagtails seem to have deserted us though the latter could be hanging out at the north end with the cattle. The most exciting birding at present comes about when you manage to find a roving feeding flock, usually along the Castle Mill Stream. There then follows ten or so minutes of intense birding, following every movement to see what it is. The usual mix is Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits with several Chiffchaffs and perhaps a Goldcrest or two - sadly I've not had any more Flycatchers so far.
I bumped into a local birder who reported a couple of WHEATEARS (the first of the Autumn) and a PEREGRINE over the last week. There's also been a single LITTLE EGRET knocking about on the river.

Castle Mills Stream Moorhen
Even the mothing has gotten rather quiet of late - the cooler and clearer nights making for smaller catchers.

This Small Ranunculus has been the pick of the moths over the last week for me
I'm still trying to get to grips with the local flowers and plants though of course it's now getting late in the season but it gives me something to look out for on my daily walks.

I'd thought that I re-introduce the occasional Flower du Jour - this is Black Nightshade,
so called because it's mature berries are black
So we're very much waiting for some decent rain and a return of the floods. Of course last year we lucked in on a Yellow-browed Warbler in the autumn despite the lack of water. It would be great to have something similar grace our Patch to keep one's interest during this lean period.

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