Wildlife Diary 2014

January 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 9.6C    Min Temp =  -3.1ºC    Mean Temp = 4.2ºC
Max Wind = 30mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 25    Rain 24hr Max = 18.8mm    Monthly Rain = 221.8mm


23rd.  The afternoon off today had me thinking about spring...why? I went out to the shed to put some feed in the feeders and whilst looking at the snow on the ground (only a flurry) I noticed these lovely things

These may well be in for a shock as snow is forecast to some degree over the next 10 days or so. You can see other bulbs in the background just poking through and these will most likely be some of the many Jetfire daffodils I planted last year. I can see quite a few of the new bulbs pushing though so I hope to see a much better display of them all around the garden this time.

I also forgot to put in this photo that I took a few day's ago. The cousin of the humble Chaffinch is the Brambling and this one has been quite regularly...but only one.
16th.  I know that I wonder what is going on with the weather but I do wonder what effect this is having on the wildlife as things like Hedgehogs may just wake up to early which could well be fatal if the temps then suddenly drop. What impact does this have on the birds....most likely a positive one on many fronts with the most obvious being the lack of overnight cold temps and for many birds food being easily found in the ground with worms still very much part of a Thrushes diet.
As noted above the lowest temp has been -3.1C but in reality it has been one of plus temps than minus. The big thing that is so far standing out is again the average temp for the month. The normal average for January is more like 2.5C but so far the average is rising and now stands at 4.8C. 
1st.  Happy New Year to all. I can't deny that I have been very disappointed with the total lack of snow over Christmas. The hailstone does not really cut the mustard. It's remained windy and mild today although tomorrow is supposed to be better.
I wish all of you a very healthy, and if needed, wealthy new year.

February 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 10C    Min Temp =  -2.3ºC    Mean Temp = 4.5ºC
Max Wind = 28mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 17    Rain 24hr Max = 31.4mm    Monthly Rain = 170.2mm

March 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 14.2C    Min Temp =  -3.2ºC    Mean Temp = 5.8ºC
Max Wind = 29mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 13    Rain 24hr Max = 19mm    Monthly Rain = 124.8mm


25th.   Back from our quick break from Scotland with some family members and some of the places we found were really nice places indeed. We shall return as some of the areas were promising to see a few species of bird we don't always get to catch up with locally....mainly seabirds nesting of course. A couple of RSPB reserves not to far away from the area we stayed in at Stranraer were The Wood Of Cree and the reserve of Mull of Galloway. The wood was a place we would hope to catch up with Pied Flycather, Redstart and Wood warbler whilst the plantlife should be a lovely sight in a few weeks when all the Bluebells and Ramsons come out.
I will try to add a few pictures.
11th. Well the frogs took the cue and now there are several large balls of spawn. I think more yet arrive as other areas of the pond are still vacant of spawn. No doubt this is due to the warmer daytime temps. The weather has been simply stunning with clear skies and although the wind is still a little sharp it is quite nice...it feels such a long time since we have had 2 days together like these.
Other firsts for the garden are a first Bumble Bee and a first opening of a Daffodil.
9th.  The warmest day of the year was a welcome thing today with it reaching a cosy 14.2C. The Frogs were the ones to make the most of it as their croaking could be heard in the Kitchen from the pond. I counted 12 individuals today and I would think that spawning will soon begin as every ripple in the ponds water sends each frog in search of what moved!
Birdsong is now well under way in the mornings and particularly the evenings which is again a real pleasure.
The week ahead promises to be one with reasonable day time temps and often clear sunny skies so I will keep a close eye on the nest boxes that are at present being used for roosting as a Great Tit and Blue Tit are residents overnight in their respective boxes. No signs of a hedgehog although increasingly the garden is becoming more and more "fenced" in with the hogs struggling to find a place that allows access.

April 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 18C    Min Temp =  0.4ºC    Mean Temp = 8.8ºC
Max Wind = 22mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 10    Rain 24hr Max = 12.2mm    Monthly Rain = 73.4mm


27th.  A pair of Bullfinch are now visiting which is always a great thing as we tend to lose them in the winter months no doubt heading south...well do you blame them. The House Sparrows have now found the mealworms and the male is carrying one or two away with him. He is very fussy as he picks up and puts down many before deciding on a couple that are up to spec...never mind the quality feel the width I think he is telling us.
The Stock Dove is still a regular but it is just a single, I hope we have not lost one, I just hope the female is sat on eggs somewhere.
I forgot to mention that the Bluebells are now in flower here and there. The first flower being noted on St Georges day. Jack by the hedge is popping up all over with quite a few in flower. The Dafs are still with us albeit now the flowers are looking rather ragged. The lesser celandine I planted in the lawn a few years back has done really well this year with a much larger 1 or 2 clumps forming. Plenty other plants seems to be doing well in the garden which is good for me and the wildlife.
I have decided to buy some Ramshorn's and Pond snails for the pond. I did have a great little colony of both a few years back but they took a dramatic decline some time ago and now I am pretty sure I have non. I miss them in the pond so I hope the conditions have returned to something the snails are happier with.
24th. The Great Tit nesting in the box with a camera has not been forgotten it's been quite and eye opener as I mentioned to Mandy that she will be busy this year as a high count of 6 eggs are visible....3 days later we now have 9! It will be interesting how this pans out as I am pretty certain that is very unusual for Great Tits and the box will get very cramped in there. Let's hope she now gets on with brooding them as I could envisage some of these not hatching at all. It looks like we will be the main source of food again in the livefood department.
22nd.  We decided on a walk tonight after work and our usual route of about 5 miles had me looking and listening for anything of interest, it was only when I was having dinner later on that the special thing occurred....House Martin buzzed by the house and kept having a look at the nesting site under a neighbours eaves. I know the Swallow is a special bird but I think the House Martin, for me at least, is the one that signals halcyon thoughts and feelings of dread if they did not turn up or their nesting site was lost.
I hope the bird is happy to return to the previous years nesting site as the sounds of these birds is part of my summer.
21st.  I may well have been wrong about the fate of the Robins as one juvenile is regularly coming to the mealworm feeder. It always introduces itself before eating with a rather loud "tick" then tucks in.
Tadpoles are doing good in the pond and well along in development although non as yet have legs.
Mandy and I finally managed a bit of birding and we enjoyed Leighton Moss and Brockholes Nature reserve. With the two under our belt it had us a list of about 70 species which was finally a kick start to my year list and a UK tick in the voice only of a Cettis explosion of a song...no sighting but it's unmistakable! A couple of Garganey and visitors for the summer in Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler.
The weather has been reasonable over Easter, well what I managed of it at least, and looking into next week bring colder temps and wetter conditions......welcome to Rossendale! Talking weather and the warmest day of the year so far was recorded today at a lovely 18C.
13th. Things are moving on in the garden with more flowers appearing all the time. Kingcup, Ribes, Berberis Darwinii, Snakes head fratillery and wood anemone are all creating a lovely show.
The nesting birds are still bringing in material into the boxes with the Great tit now bringing in the final lining material. As I look at the video cam now I can see that the cup is pretty central in the box and she looks like she has covered the cup a little making me wonder if the egg laying has begun...I shall keep a close eye on her when she returns to the box and shifts a few things around.
I think that the Robins that fledge must have perished as the Robins did not take any of the mealworm we put out. It's nature but a shame non the less.
Mandy reported that on the little stream outside her works has a nest building pair of Dipper and that a Blackcap is back on territory singing his head off. Normally speaking the Blackcap travels the 300 yards or so to the garden where the song is always well received.
Now we are awaiting the first House Martin and first Willow Warbler song from the local area.
4th. I am glad I took the opportunity to snap a few youngsters that I noted about a week ago tucked up in a schwegler nestbox that I hung on the fence waiting to place it in a suitable position!
Well the Robins thought it was suitable and tonight as I wandered up the garden to replenish live mealworm I had bought having discovered the nest. Clearly they made the most of the warm winter months as the first brood are away...all three that I could see have vacated the nest but now they are at the mercy of the wider world.
This was taken on the 27th Match

This was taken on the 30th March


These were on the 2nd & 3rd April

The precarious position of the nestbox.

Mandy very kindly fabricated a protective cage to help with their chances of survival.

As I went out to fed the mealworm I tried to replace one of the young in a more suitable place of safety but it found it's own safety which was in a neighbours garden. I only found one of the three so I hope all goes well enough for them to at least gain a good ability of flight.
Whilst writing this about the Robins it was on the edge of darkness as I heard the Robins ticking furiously which can only mean one thing....a predator. I ran out like a mad man and sure enough a cat was on the premises no doubt eyeing up a snack. I scared it off and all for now is quiet.
It's quite busy as present with all the things going on and the Great Tit is well along with her nest on the side of the house plying it full of moss, so I hope to have good viewing on the camera of these again. I noted the Blue Tits using a nestbox in the far tree with moss also being taken in.
Blackbirds are about but their nest has so far alluded me.

May 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 23.1C    Min Temp =  -1.1ºC    Mean Temp = 10.9ºC
Max Wind = 24mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 15    Rain 24hr Max = 30mm    Monthly Rain = 144.8mm


21st. The Tit family are still all tucked up in their box as of 21:00 tonight. Will they bid for freedom tomorrow I wonder....not sure as I think they have a little more "feathering" up to do. 
As mentioned below I can confirm that the warmest temps continued for a forth consecutive day as the 19th had a lovely 23.1C to its name. It did not feel as warm but that maybe due to the fact I was indoors at work most of the day. I note tomorrow is supposed to be a mixed day with some heavy showers....guess whom is off in the afternoon?
18th.  Spring suddenly felt summer like with more year high temps being recorded with today beating all of them so far this year. As stated the 15th had a max of 17.6C - 16th a max of 20.4C 17th a max of 21.4C and today so far we have reached a lovely 21.9C. Yesterday whilst cooler felt nicer as the wind that has been present, dropped and it felt spot on. Today the gusty wind has returned but I guess I should not complain. Mandy has been away most of the weekend at a seminar in Manchester so I had taken the weekend off and got on with jobs in the garden....that soon came to a halt as the power washer decided to give on on the pressure side of being a washer! I bought a new one and I got back to it. Thank goodness this one is a bit quieter.
Mandy informed me that something had killed a bird in the early morning so I put my Sherlock hat on decided it was a Starling that had hit our window (marks on window) possibly due to a Sparrowhawk strike. It was either incapacitated or dead after the impact and so made an easy target for the bird of prey. It left it's beak which gave it away as a Starling. Sad really as we have only just had Starlings visit the garden in the last few weeks after a long period without visits.
15th.  The warmest day of May so far today with a high of 17.6C. There was a cutting breeze though that at times made it feel a lot cooler than that. If predictions are correct we are to have at least 3 days of very nice weather...let's hope so. The Great Tit family are doing ...well Great! Although only six of the nine are present those young ones are coming on nicely. I am pretty confident we have not lost any after hatching I think it more that the eggs were not warmed enough or that they were infertile. It's hard to believe that 11 days ago they were pretty helpless. They are now able to stretch up well when food is brought in and they have now started to gain the dark helmet markings of a Great Tit. I try to feed them in the mornings and in the late evenings to allow for that long period of no food with a possible cool temperature. My Bible of birds tells me that they can fledge from 16-20 days. I will have to keep a closer eye out as this time approaches. I make that this date will be from wednesday the 21st of May onward.
The other thing I found in the book was that Great Tits can lay between 8-12 and upto 18 eggs and incubation can take between 10-22 days.
The Swifts are now a regular noise to the skies above the garden but it was the House Martins that caught my eye this morning as they were flying right up to the front windows presumably catching spiders. 

10th.  A few pictures of the reserve by the RSPB at Wood of Cree.

I was looking forward to seeing a few good quality birds and some nice native wildflowers for Mandy.
Both of us were happy as both flora and fauna was great.

The Bluebells were stunning and carpeted much of the woodland floor.

Dog Violet

Stitchwort & Primrose

A real srprise were the creatures on the floor


8th.  Wow.....all go as we headed up Scotland. I shall post a few pics of the areas we visited which even afforded me a lifer.
More of a surprise though was that on our return I checked the Great Tit video and they had all hatched so I guess on the either the 5th or 6th of May they hatched. I have managed to count 6 heads so far so I will have to wait for the other three to show themselves, I hope.
Mum and Dad are doing a fine job with regular feeds and Mum sitting on them stopping any chilling of the naked chicks. They are at least 4 days old today and the mini mealworm I bought are going down a treat, although the Sparrows have now found them and a stand off around the feeder often goes on, there is plenty to go around though and it's good to know the the Sparrow also has young to feed.
As I type this at 19:50 mum is sitting on the chicks with them all ready for bed fed and cleaned. The rain has been around most of the day and I was quite surprised when Dad was still bringing in such an array of food.

June 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 23.4C    Min Temp =  3.8ºC    Mean Temp = 13.9ºC
Max Wind = 18mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 8    Rain 24hr Max = 15.2mm    Monthly Rain = 61.6mm

22nd.  It's been.....so far a lovely June. I looked back at the rain figures and even I felt surprised to read it has been twelve days since it rained. Well in truth we had 0.6mm six days ago but that was just a blip. The garden has responded to the warmer and drier conditions with lots of the plants flowering from start to finish without the rain knocking the flowers off. I am hoping that this leads to plenty of berries in the garden come Autumn. The Red Pyracantha in particular for the first time in 8 years is full of flower.
The longest day was observed yesterday (21st) and Mandy and I took advantage with a family Barbecue and we did not go into the house until 23:30.....long may that continue.

We celebrated our 15th Anniversary this week and we were both spoiled with prezzies....I also failed to keep the neighbours from knowing it was one on those milestone birthdays....I arrived home to a cheeky card letting me know they know but who they were that knew was not forth coming!

As I enjoy the part cloudy skies this morning I thought I would update as a lovely surprise of a Dragonfly came through the garden. I think it was a common Hawker but could not get a good ID. We have not had a visit from a Dragonfly for some years despite having a pond so i was quite excited when this was seen hunting in the garden.

Well having stayed up for the England game against Italy I feel a little sloth like this morning.....it must have been the terrible pitch and high humidity.
Plenty of young are now entertaining us in the garden with lot's of Blue and Great Tits coming to take mealworm and slowly now progressing onto solid foods like sunflower hearts and suet cake. The are slowly becoming independent of their parents but are always ready to accept any feeds from them. A few young Starlings are also visiting as they sit noisily begging for food.
As I came home yesterday from work I immediately heard the calls of a Nuthatch as two of them flew over the front garden. I hurried through to the back and one of them was calling from next doors Birch tree before it set off back toward cowm hillside. It made 2 more visits to the Birch tree but never came into the boundary of the garden.
It is a first time I have recorded Nuthatch any where near the garden so I will be hopeful we can tempt them into the garden.
Mandy and I were both in the kitchen last week when we heard a very odd noise that had us looking outside to see two Mute Swans flying low over the garden heading down the valley. The noise was quite strange despite us being very familiar with mute Swan it still had us thinking what was that loud noise. The Mute Swan is also a first as a flyover of the garden so at least that list is still growing.
The two lists that I keep for the garden are
1) Garden visits but no flyovers included which stands at 43
2) Garden lists including birds seen from the garden and in the garden which stands at 68

A quick post tonight to show a strange place for a nest that I was alerted to by a colleague at another branch. I only had my phone with me so the pictures are poor but the subject is still a good one.

This picture shows the bay where sand, gravel etc is stored. The partition walls are built from hollow concrete block. The nest is in the second wall in from the left and near to the steel post at the wall ending. I am really surprised they have survived as this 6" x 3" hollow is totally open to the elements as the opening is facing straight up.
Anyway looking at these 7 chicks they are ready to go and I would be surprised if they do not go tomorrow. They hit lucky as I just had a delivery of mealworm at work so I helped them along with a handful. We watched as Mum and Dad brought in food parcels and at one point it did seem like Dad was calling to entice them out.

Thanks Chris for the heads up.

One of the more strange choices of a nesting place in this very busy builders yard where a tractor is working 1 meter away regularly.

July 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 27.3C    Min Temp =  6.6ºC    Mean Temp = 16.2ºC
Max Wind = 22mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 10    Rain 24hr Max = 25.6mm    Monthly Rain = 88.6mm


21st.  A summer to savour......at last! we are still seeing really good warm and sunny day's with only the odd day of rain, albeit sometimes thundery to spoil things. It's terrific and the barbecue has even seen plenty of action even if one of those was under a brolly as the first burger hit the grill.
In truth a lot has happened that is why I have not had chance to update the site very much although i have now updated the weather data section which is now showing just how good we have been having it with May and June both showing record average temps.

I have had to spend time away from the garden as a family member needed help with a house move. The garden they have now aquired shows promise in my eyes for a possible nest site of Spotted Fly so I am going to keep close tabs on that when I visit!
Plenty of news in the garden but I will add a few photos along the way....I promise!

August 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 21.6C    Min Temp =  4.2ºC    Mean Temp = 13.1ºC
Max Wind = 26mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 16    Rain 24hr Max = 29.4mm    Monthly Rain = 154.4mm    


30th. August almost gone and the warm summer is showing it's effects as plants are going into autumn colour already. I guess the plants have done what they need in their survival and procreation. The animal world to is taking a deep breath as a hectic season really slows down.

The Robins, whilst a garden favourite always hold something up their sleeve that I don't like to hear.....yes their melancholy Autumn song. It's sort of met with disquiet at first from me but come the dark winter nights the song turns into a rather nice companion, a tale of two halves I guess.

Two late Swifts were again spotted on the 26th of this month. This is the latest I have recorded them for the valley.

Mandy has treated us to our top birding spot with a little time booked at Spurn in a couple of weeks....let's hope the weather is for us! I love Spurn, I can taste that Whisky already oh yes and the birds!

24th.  I was a little surprised to see a pair of Swift still feeding over the garden this morning. Pretty sure I don't see them at this time of year over the garden. One bird that still is very much in evidence are the House Martins as it looks and sounds they are looking to leave as they are feeding up any late broods still left in the nests. It looks like that all the Martins are helping with the feeding duties as they all take turns zipping up to the nests. Yesterday in particular I came to the conclusion that the young were being either scolded, cajoled, or encouraged to fledge as the noise levels as they buzzed the nest had me standing out the front wondering what all the noise was. I hate to say this but Autumn thoughts are not far away.
I forgot to post that in July this year we had a first for the garden. The spread of this species has been quite explosive. It was first spotted in the New Forest in 2001, but it is spreading at a rate of about 12,000 sq km (4,500 sq miles) each year now being recorded as far as 20 miles North of Glasgow. Like any "new" species it will take time to see it's impact on the countryside.
Non the less it's quite pretty as I managed a shot of it

22nd.  Another great Birdfair with a meet up of friends a perusal of what to spend our hard earned money on....did I mention beer?

A real man of the moment is geeky Chris Packham and he raised several issues that not only need any wildlife lovers help but issues where we can actually make a difference in the problems nature is facing.

One is a small island called Malta, the other is a UK breeding bird, the Hen Harrier. Both are horrific situations both ending in the same way, death of birds and loss of breeding species. Different ways the birds are affected but the end result is the same.

I won't delay with more talk here are the links to what you can do, as doing nothing just cannot be an option.

Hen Harrier e-petition HERE
More info HERE

Massacre On Malta HERE
More Info HERE

September 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 21.6C    Min Temp =  3ºC    Mean Temp = 13.1ºC
Max Wind = 17mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 4    Rain 24hr Max = 14.4mm    Monthly Rain = 33.2mm    Yearly rain Total =  1070.2mm

25th. The third of the three sisters from the AVRO stable was on a tour to commemorate the cold war and the toppling of the Berlin wall. A two hour tour that started and finished at her home in Doncasters Robin Hood airport.

I lefy work a little late as she was scheduled to take off at 14:00. The journey down was horrendous and left me with 5 mins to park and find a place to stand.....an set Mandy's camera up!

XH558 in all her cold was glory? I wonder just how important this plane in deterring countries attacking us at this very precarious time. The word Nuclear is a very powerful word and this plane is nuclear in all it's charisma.

Birds of a different kind was fully appreciated this weekend as a very very special and rare occasion occurred. Two of the flight only capable AVRO Lancaster bombers came together in a very solemn display. One from Canada known as "VeRA" and the British known "Thumper" Truly an honour to see these two flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane.



Mandy captured these superb images of this iconic jaw dropping planes. You have to experience the sound of these things...it sends a shiver down your spine......and two is just amazing. This is a truly thigh rubbing moment.

Well it's all gone birds.....
A phone call today from a friend and under therapy twitcher had me up at a local res searching for a big white bird.
Great White Egret

It was on the far bank so I was pleased to get these images of this bird.
 A tick for several list for me.

As promised a few pictures from a great weekend at Spurn Point.

Honey Buzzard

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher



What a weekend....two words....Spurn Point.......enough said but some pictures to follow.

It does not get much better than the two words about to be mentioned, Indian Summer. It's stuck around for the last 7-8 days so far and looking at the weather reports it's here to stay for a bit longer. The Easterlies and weather have had us arranging a trip to Spurn which with any luck will get a Wryneck.

I hope either Mandy or myself will get a half decent shot.

October 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 18.1C    Min Temp =  1.4ºC    Mean Temp = 10.3ºC
Max Wind = 30mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 15    Rain 24hr Max = 24.9mm    Monthly Rain = 126mm    Yearly rain Total =  1186.4mm

27th.  Another chance at watching birds at close hand. It was 07:00 on Saturday when I got a text to say I was on for ringing. It's about half hour away from where I live so I got there about 08:00. Not to early and realising it would be my last chance before the clocks changed and and I would have to be up even earlier to get there for first light.
It was quiet as the weather was poor with southerly winds and low cloud with eventual drizzle setting in. Non the less I did get to see this beauty close up, Lesser Redpoll

23rd Oct. Just to give an idea of what you can see close up when vis migging coupled with ringing.

This young male Sparrowhawk was after the Redwings in the nets. It did hit one individual but it survived. Realise how small the raptor actually is.

21st. It's been a whole month since I updated the diary. I promise it's nothing to do with anything but having to much to do and of coarse another visit to that mecca come Spurn place....again. And what a visit it was.

I have also been busy buying a few camping essentials as Mandy and I look to do a little camping next year...that buying started with the most important item the tent!

I also managed to get out early on Sunday to see a friend do a bit of ringing locally which was superb! 

November 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 14C    Min Temp =  -1.3ºC    Mean Temp = 7.2ºC
Max Wind = 22mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 13    Rain 24hr Max = 15.4mm    Monthly Rain = 87.8mm

27th.  Another month is passed and several factors have left little time to update the site in any great way. I do update older and ongoing pages on the site even though the diary can remain unchanged. One thing about the site is, that as it get's larger the time it takes to keep it up to date in it's various topics becomes more difficult.

The garden is still surprisingly greenish with many leaves still present on plants and shrubs. It's felt a grey kind of month overall with what feels like lots of cloud cover particularly the back end of the month. The temps are starting to drop overnight that led to our first minus temp being recorded of the season. 

December 2014

Weather This Month

Max Temp = 11.8C    Min Temp =  -3.8ºC    Mean Temp = 3.8ºC
Max Wind = 36mph
Rain Days Over 0.2mm = 19    Rain 24hr Max = 41.2mm    Monthly Rain = 269.6mm    Yearly rain Total =  1556.1mm

29th.  A lovely surprise in the garden today. I was upstairs when I noticed something skipping toward the garden from a neighbours. I thought Squirrel, no it had hardly any tail, and it was bounding. I thought some kind of vermin? The birds also saw it as they started to be very nervous and flying toward it making sure they new exactly where it was. It was a very rare visitor to the garden and I shouted to Mandy downstairs to watch the garden....there it was a Weasel proud as punch darting around the lawn and then searching every nook and cranny for any mice, voles or anything that resembled food. It stayed darting around for about 3 minutes before it disappeared. I shall put out the trail cam tonight as we have a few gammon fat leftovers that may well win us favour....fingers crossed.

27th.  Well having had a superb holiday in Goa we return to Blighty as she sent out a meeting party from the white stuff! Swapping 32C for 1C is a little tuff on the body so the heating has been put to good use.
I have started to update the world trip report section for those interested. This is always a long process as I collate and decipher what I have written down. One thing Mandy really concentrated on this trip was the butterflies and they did not disappoint.

5th.  First snowfall of the winter occurred today. It was followed by hailstone having started out a largely sunny day I was surprised to see it turn out like it had. I had to smile when I could not find anything else but the bottom of a sun cream tube to scrape the ice of the windscreen!...see dictionary under ironic.

There has also been forecast of a real bit of snowfall to come over the next 5 days or so. Very gusty conditions also will increase...not flying weather also see dictionary under ironic.

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