An overflying flock of 26 greylag geese on September 21st was the highest count for six years.

After being absent all summer, it was encouraging to see a kingfisher in late August and again on 13th September. At this time of year adults expel their young, so this was most likely a juvenile looking for a vacant stretch of river in which to establish its own territory.

The ring-necked parakeet’s raucous calls were first heard on 11th August, and is now recorded on every visit (more often heard than seen). You might think that a bright green bird would be easy to spot, but high up in the tall poplars on the old railway embankment, it blends in perfectly with the foliage. Simon Pettman managed to capture this splendid photo.

There is quite a smattering of wild rose at Hambrook, mainly on the old embankment. Roses are prone to attack by the tiny gall wasp, which lays its eggs in leaf buds, inducing the host plant to envelop them in tissue. This eventually becomes the rather striking ‘robin’s pincushion’; when covered in dew it is a magical piece of natural architecture (right). This seems to have been a good year for the pincushion locally.