Thanks to volunteer Phil for his sightings report and photos.

There was plenty of interest on the reserve.   A bank vole was feeding on some seed I put out on the logs at Fattengates courtyard at the request of a lady who had popped in hoping to find one.

I was pleased to see the new diggings at West Mead and Winpenny were looking very good, now with plenty of water and starting to green up.    There wasn’t much bird life at West Mead apart from a pair of Egyptian Geese which noisily saw off a pair of interlopers.

 Winpenny however was very good for October with lots of geese feeding and parading up and down

A smart male stonechat right outside the hide,

a nearby buzzard that rather curiously looked like it might have had a bath and was spreading its wings as if to dry off,

and a marsh harrier having a dogfight with a crow.

 A good looking jay perched unusually close on the fence between West Mead and Redstart Corner.


There was a group of 7 snipe visible from Jupps –  good to see as I always regard this as an iconic autumn and winter species.

 Finally by the Dipping Platforms I found an interesting looking caterpillar which I am rather hoping you might be able to identify.

 Anna - this rather splendid caterpillar is a knotgrass and will turn into a rather nondescript moth.

In other news, plenty of our winter ducks are arriving and enjoying the full pools on the North Brooks. Teal are currently the most numerous with several hundred on the nature reserve. We've had good displays from our raptors with up to 4 marsh harriers hunting over the wetlands and regular sightings of a merlin.

Reports from an early morning visitor included around 180 redwings flying over...autumn has arrived!

Here's our sightings board from the past couple of days: