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Tell us about your autumn so far

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Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 18:59 UK time, Thursday, 6 October 2011

What a strange end to the summer! Or was it a strange start to the autumn? For those of us living in the southern half of the country we fairly sizzled in delightful late summer sun... man it was hot! And then, practically in the course of a single day, someone threw a switch - the clouds rolled in and the thermometer plunged.

It must have been very confusing, perhaps disruptive, for our wildlife. I noticed two things immediately, my late flowering plants were smothered in butterflies. I counted 14 red admirals on a single sedum bush. Also, what on earth happened to our swallows and martins? One day they were here, the next - not a sign - anywhere.

But what have YOU seen? How has the unusual weather affected wildlife where you live? We'd love to know. So please comment below and tell us about the weird, the wonderful, perhaps even bizarre effects the weather seems to have had on nature in your area.

Thank you - Martin.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Saw a kestrel hovering over a field behind my house while walking to the station. Watched it for a few minutes, before I got poohed on by a Robin in the tree above me. Must have been a little jealous.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi There...

    Even west of Edinburgh it was a bit warmer than usual and last week heard a Chiffchaff and the last Swallows and House martins were here one day and gone the next.

  • Comment number 3.

    sadly for those of us further north (I'm in SW Scotland) - the Indian sizzling summer didn't occur!
    Our cold wet summer has been followed by the tail end of Hurricaine Katya and the tail end of Hurricaine Ophelia!
    I do believe I am seeing more birds in the garden than usual for this time of year; 200 jackdaws flew over the garden briefly 2 days ago - I am glad they didn't all come down and expect to be fed at the feeders!

  • Comment number 4.

    Last weekend a White Cheek Turaco was in the garden. It probably fancied a trip to sub-tropical Bath from comparatively chilly Colombia...or maybe an escapee from somewhere closer.

    This weekend, I was hoping for flamingos, but ducks are forecast.

  • Comment number 5.

    A few Swallows and Martins are still filering through, here in south Lincolnshire. It was rather odd basking in the very-late 'Indian Summer' and not having hirundines in the sky! The first Pinkfeet have arrived here about a week earlier than I would have expected, and we've been enjoying a bumper crop of fruit and veg from my dad's vegetable garden. We're drowning in potatoes, apples and pears! From the Birding world, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting and Waxwing are beginning to be reported in small numbers. Can't wait for the Fieldfares myself; top, top birds!

  • Comment number 6.

    The summer extension was great for us, some great walks in the countryside at the weekend, but for the wildlife, I'm not so sure.
    I'll explain...
    Down in our part of Dorset, it was much like you described "Someone threw a switch".
    However I think our birds thought this too was a fluke, but by Thursday (06/10/2011) they got the message that the change in the weather was here to stay.
    How do I know... The bird table's popularity increased out of all recent proportions, we even had a Greater Spotted Woodpecker drop in for the first time ever.

  • Comment number 7.

    Here in north essex i saw a huge flock of house martins flying above my garden and in the fields beside my house yesterday. it was a very sunny day as it has been for last 2 weeks. today(thursday )they have gone. normally the swallows and martins are gone by middle september.There has also been lots of late butterflies ,admirals,whites,speckled woods. Today as it is cold,cloudy and windy i only saw 1 butterfly but as kendo commented there was a massive increase in birds visiting and eating in my garden.

  • Comment number 8.

    Green Woodpecker, Exotic looking caterpillars, dragonflies, a Robin and a Daredevil snail - all on the Autumnwatch Flickr site now. Last weekend 28 swans, 17 Coots and 10 Grebe in the same spot on the river diving and dipping under to get at some kind of shared food source. I have pictures of some of the swans with their tail ends and legs in the air above water from diving so deep.

  • Comment number 9.

    Quite a few confused flowers - Daisies on the lawn, Hebes to the delight of the late bees and butterflies, and my roses have come back into bloom. I've been inundated with Red Admirals as well, the most I've seen in years. And rescued what I ID'd as a Convolvulus Hawk Moth from the unwanted attentions of a cat.

    As for the birds, I have heard some Swallows passing over this week but I think all the locals are long gone now. One group of our Housemartins only left last week though. I also came across a very large and rowdy gang of Siskins in a conifer plantation. I don't know whether they were coming or going but I've never seen a big flock of them this time of year before. In fact I only usually see them at all later in the winter and early spring.

    Definately the best and most bizarre highlight was a displaying Goshawk?? That's crazy, seen one in Jan/Feb in the same area in previous years, but the last days of September?! Are they really that out of whack, or is it possible something else was going on? It definately looked like a display flight to me shooting straight up into the air and circling, but they were also making a lot of noise. There were at least 2 of them, and though only one did the acrobatics, the other joined it briefly in the air.

    It could have been a theatrical domestic I suppose, but tell Chris my theory is they were having fun in the blazing blue skies and sunshine like the rest of us. You know, just playing for the sake of it :)

  • Comment number 10.

    we have had frogs apparently mating in our pond over the hot weekend

  • Comment number 11.

    Frogs have started calling by the pond, but the myriad of ladybirds that had been hiding in the hedge all seem to have disappeared.

  • Comment number 12.

    There were loads of butterflies in my garden during the hot weather but they have all disappeared now, with the exception of one I found in my kitchen yesterday! This was pale green with a white bit at the bottom and on the white bit was a black dot - anyone any ideas what that could have been?

  • Comment number 13.

    I've seen lots of butterflies too, strange for October. @juicyjules try Butterfly Conservation's I.D. tool: www.butterfly-conservation.org/butterfly_identifier/17/identify_a_butterfly.html

  • Comment number 14.

    Here in S. Wales the start of autumn was not unusual in terms of weather or nature. There was plenty of bird movement including small numbers of Golden plover reaching their wintering grounds on the coast and Knot, Wheatear, Common sandpiper and a lone Little stint passing through.

    The brief warm and sunny spell at the end of October brought large numbers of butterflies to my garden to feed on the ivy. They were mostly Red admiral but they were joined by the occasional Comma and Speckled wood. I also saw a Large white fly over and spotted a Meadow brown on one of my trips out but none of these are particularly unusual at this time of year given a bit of sun. The one that did surprise me was a Holly blue in my garden on the 1st October. Most years these have two broods a year and are not seen much after the end of August. It was slightly worn, probably not enough to make it a very late 2nd brood specimen but maybe too much to be a result of the warm spell, which had only begun a few days earlier. Have we had a 3rd (partial) brood this year? I have a photo if that helps


  • Comment number 15.

    "The brief warm and sunny spell at the end of October" should read "... end of September, start of October"

  • Comment number 16.

    We are now experiencing hail storms in the Lake District but saw a swallow only two days ago - maybe they got fooled into staying over by the recent warm weather.

  • Comment number 17.

    I found a young goldfinch in my garden ( just Fledged ) on Tuesday 4th October. Is this unusual ?

  • Comment number 18.

    Its been a very blustery week in northern ireland, very exciting as you can hear lots of geese flying over at night and heading for strangford lough, its the time lots of brent geese arrive!

  • Comment number 19.

    My mother-in-law saw some blackbirds busy looking for nesting material in her garden last week. And our springflowering clematis is flowering, just like the perennial poppies. Robins, starlings, great tits singing like it's spring, this is very confusing....

  • Comment number 20.

    Where I live in the North West, we have had only 3 days of sunshine over the "Indian Summer" period but during that time, in the tree directly behind my garden, there are Magpies nest building! I thought I was seeing things but my neighbour confirmed he had seen them too. Also, my spring Honeysuckle that has part died off in line with Autumn, has actually thrown out 2 bright yellow spring flowers! How very odd.

  • Comment number 21.

    Got very excited last week I am sure I saw a Red Kite sitting on a fence, unfortunately I did not see it fly to make sure, but will watch out at the same spot to see if I see it again! This summer I saw the first two Ladybirds to visit my garden in about two years, I do hope that means things are looking up for them! I installed a Ladybird house about three years ago and the only tenants appear to be spiders, so after my sightings this summer I am not giving up hope!

  • Comment number 22.

    I have noticed along with many other people that blackbirds hardly been seen
    in our area ( Whitby) for quite soom time since June I have seen only 3
    which isn't right for around here .
    Have they had a bad year? ideas please
    Swallows and house martins well there has been hundreds of them this year

  • Comment number 23.

    I live near Sevenoaks in Kent & house sparrows are trying to nest in my neighbour's bird box. Watched them collecting twigs & nesting materials all one morning ...hope they have central heating if they succeed?!! ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    I forgot to mention earlier - I have tadpoles in my garden pond still! Whats going to happen to them? I am guessing they have had their chance, since being born way back in March!!..but why haven't they changed? There are loads of them and I fear they will probably die with the colder coming weather. Is this right? Have they lucked out this year does anyone know? And if so, why?

  • Comment number 25.

    I live in the middle of nowhere and I have never had such an infestation of Daddy Longlegs indoors as I have recently, it's almost Hitchkockian !!! Can't wait for tonight's show and BY THE WAY CHRIS...those herons were DEFINITELY PROG looking like they had fur coats on and wavy hair in the wind and that Hipgnosis type background!!! Definitely NOT punk...pah...!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    But loads of swallows around the farm this year !!! Encouraging..??? Hope so !!! Oh I now live in rural Staffordshire...!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    OK sorry, I'll try that comment again !!! Nothing aggro intended guys !!! I would like to posit the notion that PERHAPS last spring's herons were more akin to PROG ROCK what with their fur coats (feathers) windswept hair and the picturesque background strasight from a Hipgnosis album cover ??? I just think Chris was WAY off the mark with his punk- zealous enthusing, but he is still a righteous dude ! Oh and my original point was my amazement at the sheer amount of Daddy Longlegs who have taken up residence in my living room over the last couple of weeks, never seen anything like it even in our rural outpost in WILDEST STAFFORDSHIRE !! It is almost HITCHCOCKIAN in it's eerieness !!

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh...you DID post the original AFTER ALL !!! Sorry !!! Hahahaha !!! OK then, that'll be robins pooh on MY face then..!!! And where's KATE this year...???

  • Comment number 29.

    I live in LB of Merton as far south of it as you can get and I have seen a greater spotted woodpecker and 2 long tailed tits together with a red admiral butterfly and a large blue dragon fly in the today 7 Oct

  • Comment number 30.

    i saw last week wood pigeons building nests is this normal for this time of year?

  • Comment number 31.

    Second brood of swallows in my Lincolnshire barn this year ended in success for 3 babies. They left last week - perhaps just in time?

  • Comment number 32.

    Knee deep in ladybirds in South Lincolnshire this year, plenty of Red Admirals and sparrows nesting - again - like the third time this year it seems?

  • Comment number 33.

    I saw a red kite today, flying about 10ft over our house. It was that close I could see all the detail in its feathers without a pair of binos! Although it wasn't just my roof top it was skimming but most of the houses in the street, I wonder what it was looking for?

  • Comment number 34.

    Saw, what I hoped, was my last swallow this morning feeding over Milton Common, beside Langstone Harbour here in Southsea, Hampshire. There was a good north easterly blowing to get it over the channel.

  • Comment number 35.

    ((cont'd from my post elsewhere ..!))

    (and a lot of weather we've been having lately ..!)

    Re - Could the increased spider numbers apparent here this year be due, at least partly, to the suddenly shockingly low numbers of local garden/songbirds? (posted previously; now cont'd from this earlier blog ..!) -

    Further to the question above, some observations and additional questions re our local birds ...

    Since our return from a recent overseas trip we have barely seen or heard any of the familiar birds - which were delightfully present in some number and variety all around the area throughout the spring and summer (including the wonderfully entertaining sand martins - which have obviously now long left for their winter homes) - and, very sadly, we no longer have any avian visitors at all on our balcony (which, again, was blessed with numerous different birds before our departure), despite our leaving them several food sources and also water before we left. We returned just as the phenomenonally hot spell hit so I don't think that this can have been a factor. Even the wood pigeons have deserted us (although they - and the odd returning jay - are now again feeding in the local sessile oak trees ...), and both the blackbirds and the mallard ducks - both of which were present everywhere in huge numbers in previous years - seem now to have been almost totally wiped-out. Further, the sparrows and starlings (which had been spreading rapidly eastwards in recent years) have also sadly gone - as, too, the sparrowhawk and other birds of prey ..!

  • Comment number 36.

    However, a single grey wagtail continues to fly past our home each morning, and still feeds on both the adjacent pond and the river. We also have a family of crows and another of magpies still flying by the balcony ('though, again, no longer visiting) and there is a single young swan, plus a few Canada geese, a visiting grey heron and a couple of moorhens (not sure if they are the - now fully-grown - youngsters or the two previously resident parents) on the same local pond, and a few tufted ducks on the nearby dock. Additionally, I thought I heard a wren "tutting" earlier in the week and we have once or twice seen five or more small, long-tailed birds flitting past the balcony (could these have been long-tailed tits?? - they seemed smaller than the usual grey or pied wagtails, and the usual blue and great tits and various small finches have barely been seen or heard since our return ...). And that is, tragically, about it for our local birds so far this season.

    Any ideas what might have happened to cause these very noticeably altered populations? Presumably the erratic weather throughout 2011 has led to an imbalance re food supplies, and the birds/food have thus fallen out of sync.?? We have also noticed quite a few rather late-foraging bees of various kinds during the recent hot weather; and also some solitary wasps, flying very close to the ground, walls and other surfaces, presumably looking for later winter retreats. Additionally, like Martin H-G, we have witnessed a number of dark-coloured, smallish butterflies throughout the hot spell (red admirals? - not seen close-up) - although, yet again, very sadly none of these insects have visited the balcony since our return (despite the best efforts of the late-flowering sedums - and even a still-flowering California poppy ...). Maybe all these spiders are reaching any insect etc visitors before we see them ..!?

    Again, thanks, regards and good luck! TB

  • Comment number 37.

    I love Autumn, and look forward to those misty mornings filled with colour, so was a little disappointed with the recent heatwave.

    Seem to be business as usual now though, which makes me very happy :)

  • Comment number 38.

    How strange Out for a drive around the Shalbourne area in Berkshire 2 weeks ago and was so surprised to see cowslips (yes cowslips) in bloom on the banks not in someones garden but growing wild. Does this mean that they will not bloom next spring. Also we have a huge number of sparrows in the garden they are such terrible bullies on the feeders but very entertaining on the peanut feeders, and we have two baby gold finches just fledged in late September, will they survive the winter??

  • Comment number 39.

    Moving the compost heap in the garden last weekend, we found new born grass snakes. There are still some eggs there too. Feel very priviledged that these snakes like our garden :)

  • Comment number 40.

    We have had an amazing few weeks in our very own garden. Horseshoe bats, Squirels, kestrels, buzzards and we seen our very first Tawny Owl who landed in the old ash tree at dusk while we were eating dinner! Fabulous!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    During the end Sept heatwave I heard a cicada in my garden. The only other time I have heard one in my area was during the summer 2003 heatwave. I live in Grays, Essex. I heard that we get cicadas in the New Forest - is this true? I have heard them in Germany in the summer time

  • Comment number 42.

    we have Canada Geese regularly fly over our house, early morning and late evening. There about 20 at the most and they fly the same direction every time, however about 3 weeks ago when we had really bad gales, in the evening, the sky was absolutely full of Geese, must have been at least 100 and they were flying in all directions and seemed quite disorientated. Never seem this before and the next evening the numbers were back to normal

  • Comment number 43.

    So glad Autumnwatch is back!!! Brilliant. ive just taken some lovely Autumn shots... please check it out www.snapdragonshots.com just taken loafs comma butterfly shots too.

  • Comment number 44.

    The very mild Autumn has delayed Blue-tits returning to roost in the nest box in my garden! I have a camera within and have watched and recorded their activity for the past few years. Until this year, a Blue-tit had been roosting from early September, last year a Blue-tit even took up nightly residence from 1st August, (did the birds know we were in for a hard winter) but this year nothing until last night!!!!! 6th October when the temperature dropped in my garden from 16C (this past week), down to 10C! What do you the presenters think?

  • Comment number 45.

    Walking in the Lake District last weekend near Keswick, found a small pool still teeming with tadpoles. Is this unusual?

  • Comment number 46.

    (too long for twitter) toptip for batwatching btw, if you live in a top floor flat, turn your living-room light on for an hour after twilight, then when u turn it off open the window and enjoy the batfest as they feast on the insects attracted by the light (best done on nights with lot of moonlight). Been doing that all summer here near Lockerbie and it has been fab.

  • Comment number 47.

    Last weekend at about 5.30pm, we found a hedgehog wandering around on our front lawn looking for food. We also have bats flying about at night but not sure what type they are.

  • Comment number 48.

    when you are going on about the warm autumn, can you explain please, that this was only in England&Wales. In Scotland autumn arrived on schedule and our weather has been cold, wet, and windy. Not T-shirt weather.

  • Comment number 49.

    This morning I looked at my bird table to find a flock of starlings having a feed, there must have been about a dozen. The single robin waited on the fence and then a couple of ring collar doves. The most amazing was that I saw a small flock of swallows swooping over the field. I thought the Martin said they had all gone. Maybe it was a second brood or perhaps the recent heatwave that kept them here in Hampshire. Do you think this is right?

  • Comment number 50.

    Has anyone else noticed that there have been two lots of poppies this year? Most recent being now. I live in the Highlands and it is hit and miss some years to get any but there have been 2 sets this year. I am on the Wirral at the moment and have seen the same. Comments please

  • Comment number 51.

    I found a baby grass snake with a sqaushed tail, the snake can't move it what should i do?

  • Comment number 52.

    It is an unusually warm autumn and there is a foxglove happily flowering behind my garage ....not seen one this late in my garden before , in northamptonshire. Also today saw a red admiral feeding on valerian

  • Comment number 53.

    I live in Hampshire next to oak woods. I now have a carpet of acorns,rather than leaves, which I have not had before, and a marauding horde of slugs. I have been removing 100 a night from my tiny garden, and they eat the food I put out for my visiting hedgehog. Any suggestions how I can dissuade them? I thought hedgehogs were supposed to eat slugs, but this one doesn't seem to be doing a very good job!

  • Comment number 54.

    We have blossom on our apple tree, is this normal, surely not?

  • Comment number 55.

    Last Thursday while fishing in the Forest of Dean at Steam Mills lake i saw a grass snake swim in front of where I was fishing approx 1 metre out. I have also had a hornets nest on my allotment, the Hornets have not been active for the last two days, they do not seem to have bothered my Bees at all.

  • Comment number 56.

    Also should mention the hedgehog that was foraging around the garden one evening last week and a single clematis flower appeared just over a week ago, this usually has just one flowering season

  • Comment number 57.

    On Thursday of last week, 29th September, I saw an insect I had never seen before, and identified it on the web as a hummingbird moth, feeding on a honeysuckle flower. I have seen hummingbirds in California, but didn't know a hovering daytime moth like this existed. Is this unusual,and is it another example of the warm weather drawing it in from the continent?

  • Comment number 58.

    Whilst fishing last Tuesday (4th Oct) I saw and photographed swans actually mating. Is this unusual for the time of the year?


  • Comment number 59.

    I agree with 'Skeerbs', will you folks PLEASE stop going on about the 'heatwave'. Here in Co. Fermanagh it's been ******* 'orrible. We had a lovely summer - in April - it's been autumn ever since! Still lovely to see you again, looking forward to the next few weeks.

  • Comment number 60.

    I usually have quite a few butterflies in my well stocked garden but this year has been miserable..Have seen one peacock but very little else! But then my Aster-Michaelmus daisies are not out yet ..so still hoping.
    Spring was bad too as my frogspawn got frozen with late frost. But I has plenty of Newtlets! I live in Midlothian Scotland.

  • Comment number 61.

    In S Someret here primroses and cowslips are flowering.

  • Comment number 62.

    We returned from holiday on Tuesday 4th October to find a clump of Snowdrops in full flower. Great number of Honey Bees and Wasps feeding on the ivy.

  • Comment number 63.

    Saw red squirrels foraging on Brownsea, also Spoonbills and Avocets ... A Peregrine Falcon soared above Poole Town today and some people we met in the The Custom House saw dolphins just outside Poole Harbour... The Starlings are beginning to flock together... The park is full of Canadian Geese... The cygnets are not ugly ducklings anymore... And the Oyster Catchers voice echos around the harbour... Got to love this place :))

  • Comment number 64.

    after a quite active summer of sparrows, blackbirds and blue tits they subsequently disappeared around August and have not reappeared the garden is mostly deserted except for a couple of pigeons, they stayed around until they had had their second lot of babies and came regularly for their currants and food while still feeding then and then completely disappeared, having said that my hubby was delighted when he sited a humming bird moth in the garden which he hadn't seen for about 30 years, we are in the midlands and wonder if anyone else has been deserted by their feathered friends

  • Comment number 65.

    We love Autumn Watch!!! So far in Ipswich, Suffolk we have seen lots of grey squirrels gathering acorns in the park ready for the winter!! We also get woken up most evenings by an owl, who we have since named 'Barney' (even though he's a Tawny Owl) who is makes lots of lovely noises!!! :) Iv got a great noise recording of him!!
    Thank you for your fantastic shows!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    In Faccombe there have been two white pheasants with brown eyes spotted in a group.

  • Comment number 67.

    when are we seeing the stags?

  • Comment number 68.

    We have a blackbird in our garden, this is the second year he has been here. He is jet black with a pure white feather on his wing. Can anyone tell me why this is ?

  • Comment number 69.

    do the ospreys mate for life? thanks claire from canterbury

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi can you tell me this year no starlings are feeding on bread and bird food put out for the first time in eight years can you help

  • Comment number 71.

    why is a grey squirrel of any kind being rescued? They need to be culled to protect the endangered red. We should do to grey squirrels what Aussies do to Cane Toads. You know they can legally use them as soccer balls!

  • Comment number 72.

    About a month ago, i was out walking along a busy rd.When my dog stopped pulling me back to sniff at something. I looked on the grass verge only to find a dead stoat.( at least i think it was a stoat) cream and about a foot long, with not a mark on it. As i stood there, a noise from the grass startled me and the dog, it was a kind of eek eek sound, very loud, and obviously a warning for me to back off. which i did. the noise stopped. I tried again, and it happened again, only this time whatever it was came towards us in the grass, although i couldn't see what it was.this happened three times. Suddenly whatever it was grabbed the dead critter and whisked it away so quickly it was unreal, any help please as to what it could have been to drag it away so fast.. what an experience. great programme looking forward to the rest!

  • Comment number 73.

    how do i post a pic of an animal I saw last winter whilste climbing

  • Comment number 74.

    My postcode is [Personal details removed by Moderator] and next to my village is a Loch called Loch Fitty, Both can be seen on Google earth. I have walked my dogs daily around the loch for more than 10 years. Until this autumn I have seen the occasional short tailed vole on a walk. However, this autumn it seems as though the place is over run. I can see literally dozens every day. My 2 beaucerons are acting like foxes and pouncing on them and eating them - ugh! The buzzards know the voles are there and are spending a long time in theat area. Why has this happened and has anyone else noticed this unusual state of affairs? Kingseat

  • Comment number 75.

    On Monday this week there was a Brimstone butterfly in the garden, I'm in East Suffolk close to Minsmere, and today a Hummingbird Hawk Moth was feeding on the late Honeysuckle flowers. Five hedgehogs regularly feed here more so since it got cooler. Lots of Red Admirals feeding on the Ivy flowers along with countless Wasps.

  • Comment number 76.

    Re red squirrels - here in Highland Perthshire we are lucky to have lots of red squirrels - but sadly at this time of year - when there are lots of young ones around - we see them killed on the road. In the last month I have seen three killed at the same bit of road - despite there being traffic lights due to a section of the road being damaged. I cannot understand how drivers cannot slow down and avoid them. What is the best way of safeguarding them - rope bridges? warning signs? - While it is great to see all the good news stories on Spring and Autumnwatch - it is also important to highlight the struggle that most of our wildlife has to survive in a country which is dominated by human beings. Increased understanding and respect for the natural world would make our country immeasurably richer.

  • Comment number 77.

    Lots of our primroses are in full bloom, but when I picked a small bunch they didn't have any scent. I hope they flower again in spring. So glad Autum Watch is back, it was great, but I do miss Kate.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    I have just watched your lovely programme and Chris is correct in saying that Waterlooville had albino grey squirrels. In fact there are at least four-six in the woods behind Crookhorn School. My daughter used to regularly see them when going to/from school almost daily. I have also seen one Southsea but at present can't for the life of me think of the name of the road but, when I spoke to a resident of the road he told me that the squirrel has been around for a year and people feed it regularly during the sparse food months.

  • Comment number 80.

    i have seen baby lady birds and catterpillers i have 3 baby squirrels in the garden...i dont normaly see any of these this time of year...there is butterflies in the grden everyday.Everything is confused..including me..

  • Comment number 81.

    I didn't see hardly any butterflies compared to last years bumper numbers. Even during that really hot weather which was a shame. Also although I did see dragonflies and damselflies I think their numbers were down where I birdwatch.It'll be interesting to see what this weekend brings, in terms of birds. Can't wait!

  • Comment number 82.

    We still have at the moment swallows in the barn. They return every year and have done so for a good number of years, always using the same nest. This year the pair have had 3 broods not the usual 2, the last one numbering 5, that left the nest a week ago. The last 3 days there has been 16 swallows returning to the barn each night so we can only presume that the others are the 2 previous broods. We have never known this to happen before. We thought they were gathering together to migrate but so far have not done so.

  • Comment number 83.

    We have two baby woodpigeons in a nest in our back garden on the Hampshire/Dorset coast. Is this the result of the odd summer weather we have had or do wood pigeons often have a brood this late in the year?

  • Comment number 84.

    I have just seen this morning in my city garden in Worcester a hummingbird moth feeding on a honeysuckle flower.It is only the 2nd time in my life that I have seen one.

  • Comment number 85.

    I have had a dozen or more glow-worm larvae pulsing in the garden. This is the latest I have ever seen them

  • Comment number 86.

    last night i resuced a long eared bat that had been caught by a cat,i put him in a box and called the bat conservation line they passed me on to a bat carer who picked up the bat.it was nice to have this strange creature in my house for a awhile and my kids thought it was great when he hung upside down

  • Comment number 87.

    Sitting watching wildlife at Hainault country park yesterday (7/10/11) sheltering from the shower & watching magpies feeding when all of a sudden two ravens attacked one of the magpies, is this normal behaviour & why?

    The attacked lasted about two minutes on the ground then carried over to a nearby tree when lots more magpies & ravens joined in, which then lasted approx 10/15 mins. Photos on flickr. any suggestions

  • Comment number 88.

    lots of butterflies, frogs all over the place but no hedgehogs spotted. some crocus are flowering which normally happens early spring. Lots of jackdaws and starlings. swallows all gone. live on the edge of the Somerset Levels.

  • Comment number 89.

    Martin, we visited Slimbridge WWT on 6th October and were surprised to see a swallow nesting and feeding at least 2 young in a nest under the eaves of the 2-storey office block which overlooks the main pond at WWT. With all those dusks and geese, this swallow may be overlooked, so do take a closer look while you're there. We also wondered if it might be missing a tail feather. Either way it should be on its own way south let alone starting a new family in October.

    Best wishes,
    Terri and Peter Smart

  • Comment number 90.

    Martin, we visited Slimbridge WWT on 6th October and were surprised to see a swallow nesting and feeding at least 2 young in a nest under the eaves of the 2-storey office block which overlooks the main pond at WWT. With all those ducks and geese around this swallow could easily be overlooked, so do take a closer look while you're there. We also wondered if it might be missing a tail feather. Either way it should be on its own way south let alone starting a new family in October!

    Best wishes,
    Terri and Peter Smart

  • Comment number 91.

    pretty sure i saw and photographed a silurian moth in wakefield west yorkshire, got 6 good pics on my phone, only seen and very rare in monmouthshire

  • Comment number 92.

    "Our" swallows and house martins diappeared about 2 - 3 weeks ago, no sign of any since. I think the adults left before that, but on Thursday the sky over the fields at the local stables were full of frantically feeding house martins, I reckon it was a "service station" for northener birds who were lagging behind in their migration, or had they been blown back from the south?

  • Comment number 93.

    Hi, first big arrival of Redwings over East Kent this morning 20,000+ birds seen coming in just after dawn, still many coming in tonight too, constant calls overhead

  • Comment number 94.

    Saw a crow storing food in the lead flashings on the chimney and roof the other day,anybody else seen it happen?

  • Comment number 95.

    Just thought i would mention, seeing you are doing an article on the autum salmon run. I have just returned from salmon fishing on the river Tay in Scotland, and this season has been the best season so far for not just the amount of salmon returning to spawn up the river Tay and many other rivers in Scotland but the size of the Salmon. Hundreds of Salmon over 20lb.+ Infact there was one caught and returned that was weighed at 40lb a few weeks ago. The gillie's on the Tay system are saying that they think that it is because the Salmon are staying out at sea for 3 winters instead of 2 winters. could your experts give there thoughts on this phenomenon.

  • Comment number 96.

    Not, perhaps, an unusual siting, but special to me - I was at Titchwell marsh at the beginning of October, when a small mouse came rushing towards me, quickly followed by another. Then along came a weasel. After a chase, the weasel managed to catch one of the mice, rolling over and over with it on the path. It carried it in its mouth to the long grass at the side of the path, but saw me, dropped the mouse and hurried off, though soon returned to grab its prey. Luckily, I had my camera ready so was able to take a few photos. I was thrilled to see such an event.

  • Comment number 97.

    We (& our neighbours) have been delighted by the antics of several young foxes in the fields near our house on many an evening dog walk these past few months. What a wonderful sight. How gutted we were to find out today that the hunt rode through yesterday and got all four young foxes. Apparently they have a bird of prey that travels with them on the hunt - a legal loophole!!! Disgusted

  • Comment number 98.

    I saw a Green Woodpecker this morning pecking a hole in the top of a telegraph pole opposite the garden.
    What do you think he was up to?
    Also I've heard a fair few owls lately hooting late at night.
    Been as warm as toast today too here in North Essex, with temperatures predicted in the mid 70s tomorrow.
    Madness, or as my old Uncle Albie used to say "We'll wind up paying for this sort of weather later in the year"

  • Comment number 99.

    I live in Northumberland near the Roman wall and we have not had Grey Squirrels around here until quite recently but what puzzles me is this-when I was a child in the late fifties and early sixties we used to go and stay with my Aunt in Malvern and it was in Worcester that I saw Grey Squirrels for the first time in a park, never saw them up here. What is it that has made them move further this way and am I right in thinking that it has taken them a long time to reach here?

  • Comment number 100.

    Today our dog found a very large catapillar on our lawn .Looking on the web I think it is very likely a Elephant Hawksmoth .It is very late in the year ,looking at prevoius postings .Has anyone else had this experience ?


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