After the summer drought, weather of a different sort has been very much to the fore, with 173mm of rain. One inevitable result is that the fields are getting damper, with pools developing in some areas, and 70 mallard attracted in by the 26th. An increase in turbulent weather brought another overnight storm on the 24th, littering the ground with broken branches, and reminding us why the brittle trees lining the riverbank are called crack willows.

Weather apart, there were plenty of other indications of approaching winter, with tufted ducks returning to Tonford lake, the flock building up to 19 by the 26th ; the first couple of snipe back on the 22nd, and a meadow pipit and skylark the same day. The 12th was interesting, with the first redwings, redpoll and goldcrests of the autumn, but, to crown it all, a bustling flock of about a hundred fieldfares (pictured) briefly descended into the poplars on the old railway embankment.

Photo by Dave Smith