Nature Notes November 2021

Total monthly rainfall: 38.5 millimetres.  Maximum daily rainfall:  9.5 millimetres (27th November).

There were 10 days when measurable rain fell, and 16 days when cloud-cover was 100% for at least part of the day.

Maximum temperature on the warmest days was 14C on November 9th, 10th, and 14th. Maximum temperature on the coldest days was 4 C on November 27th, 28th, and 29th. Overnight frost occurred on the mornings of the 4th, 6th, 8th, 18th, 23rd, 28th and 29th; a mist on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th. and 11th   ; plus strong winds on the 12th, 21st, 26th, 28th, and 29th. The effects of Storm Arwen were surprisingly mild here.


Last wildflower sightings have increased this month, beginning with fleabane on the 6th November. Because our hedges were trimmed, our last corn mint was crushed by the hedge-cutter on the 8th, while yarrow lasted until the 13th. A fortnight later, on the 27th, we saw our last dandelion, followed by the final red clover and common daisy on November 28th.

Our trees and shrubs have also started showing signs of the approaching winter. The first ash tree became bare on November 5th; silver birch and field maple displayed yellow and orange leaves alternately on the 7th; wild cherry leaves turned red on the 12th; some goat willow was bare by the 14th, and beech leaves turned brown on the 16th; wild cherry was bare by the 20th, followed by oak, silver birch, and maple on the 22nd. The remainder turning bare were elder (24th), hawthorn and horse chestnut (25th), and beech (28th). Hazel was still green at the end of the month.

Butterflies were hard to find this month, with a red admiral on hebe last seen on the 17th, and a peacock indoors on November 25th. We saw no moths indoors to light or outside on windows at all this month, but we did spot a few winter moths disturbed from hedges by torch-light after dark.

Only three species of dragonflies remained – their last sightings being a migrant hawker on November 3rd, a willow emerald damselfly (Nov 11th), and a common darter (28th November).

The wild birds have been flocking to our feeding station during the month, including jackdaws,  crows, magpies, jays; wood pigeons and collared doves; various species of tits and sparrows; plus robins, finches, and wrens. We have had only occasional visits to the lake from Canada geese, but plenty from mallards and moorhens. On November 3rd pied wagtails returned to our ridge-tiles on the house roof, and fed on the ground beneath the feeders. Starlings continued the mini-murmurations around their oak tree, and from the 14th a single cormorant made daily sorties between ponds in the area – probably being moved-on each time it was discovered.  On the 21st we disturbed a buzzard from the ground at the back of the wood.