Wildlife Diary for October 2020

Hornet by Lee

30th October, large flock of Fieldfares, perhaps 120, with 60 odd Starlings and Redwings noted. 2 Snipe at CEP also Grey and Pied Wagtails. The Rooks are restless and a few are displaying. Lots of fungi reported, and Lee sees a Hornet on Ivy off Lodge Lane.

25th October, a sunny Sunday at Cotton End Park sees a Migrant Hawker and Common Darter still about the ponds, and a couple of Chiffchaff still singing. There also seems to be an influx of Blackbirds with a good dozen noted at the park and several from gardens. Mr Gardner reports Little Egret. Kingfisher and Little Owl from Lodge Park Farm. There are 8 Gadwall and a Grey Wagtail as well. Woodcock reported.

22nd October, A Little Owl is calling and flies about on a large Ash tree behind the pond at Lakeside. Mr Green reports Bats and Tawny Owl. I re-find the Chaffinch flock at CEP and amongst them is at least one Brambling. Lots of noisy Black-headed Gulls about.

18th October, at CEP a flock of Chaffinch 40 strong are feeding up in the Sycamores, and Fieldfares go over. Tawny Owl reported from Murcott and Little Owl from Lime Avenue. Mr Evans sees about 3 Bramblings, with Chaffinches off East Street. Adam sends me a video of an Otter from his garden by the canal at Long Buckby Wharf. Siskin, Bullfinch and Redpoll reported.

Tawny Owl by Susannah
Sparrowhawk by Susannah

17th October, on footpath off Foxhill Road near Evans’ Ponds, a pair of Mute Swan, a Kingfisher and a male Stonechat. Also Kite, Goldcrest, Redwings, Chiffchaff and Coal tit.

12th October, 9 Fieldfares over Brington Road and Brambling reported.

11th October, Sunday work party and the weather is set fair. I always go early to unlock and check ‘round. Standing on the platform by the pond I listen to Reed Bunting, Jays and Robin calling and see Green Woodpecker and Mistle Thrush. There are several flocks of Redwing going over numbering between 20 and 60 birds per flock. At 0930hrs I hear an unusual but faintly familiar call and look up to see a Woodlark going over. I watch it through my bins’ as it disappears WNW. This new for the park and parish. Today will be a good day.

10th October, our LBGS/Cotton End Park fund-raiser on Market Place is well attended and whilst selling ‘The Birds of Long Buckby’ I get lots of casual records including from Steve and Martha who see Kingfisher, Steve on the canal at The Wharf and Martha near St Lawrence’s.

9th October, Keith reports an Egret from Bridge House Farm Lake.

8th October, off The Banks, along the farm track and turn right along to Gossell Hill where on the fence line with Brakeney Meadow sits a Stonechat. Greenfinch flies over.


7th October, Bridge House Farm Lake holds several Mallard, Gadwall, Teal and at least 2 male Shoveler. I also think a saw 2 Wigeon, but I am looking into the morning sun.

6th October, windy but sunny sees Comma, Speckled Wood and Common Darter reported. Its evening and I nearly jump out my chair when a Little Owl calls loudly down our chimney.

4th October, some sheep work and a dog walk at Grange Farm is rewarded by 3 Crossbill flying over with 10 Meadow Pipits, 4 Siskin, 1 Skylark and 2 Raven also over. Ploughing off Foxhill Road attracts 150 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed, 2 Common Gull and a handful of Stock Doves and Rooks. Goldcrests reported.

3rd October, Storm Alex has sent 4 Teal to the shelter of the main pond at CEP. 4 Chiffchaff are also there singing away like its springtime. The strong winds are a challenging experience for a Magpie off The Chase but the Ravens overhead just power through.

1St October, Richard reports dead and dying Wood Pigeons from Pytchley Drive and The Banks.

Wildlife Diary for September 2020

Red Admiral
Speckled Bush-cricket

30th September 2020, so I’ve been a bit busier than usual and have produced a book on birds called unsurprisingly ‘The Birds of Long Buckby’. It cost £15 and will hopefully raise money for Long Buckby Green Spaces. It is available at The Peephole or on line at longbuckbygreenspaces.com. 8 Redpoll and a Grey wagtail go over.

29th September, some midday warmth tempts me to Cotton End Park. I watch the last of the Common Darters egg-laying in the pond and grassland still has the odd Grasshopper/cricket whirring away. One or two Thistles and Knapweed are still in flower and as I scan the heads I see a rather old (probable) Brown Argus butterfly.

Speckled Wood
Desiccated Long-eared Bat

27th September, cold northerly and at the park winter is announced by the sight of 6 Redwings, the first of the incoming winter migrants. 3 Snipe are at the pond. A sunny afternoon is accompanied by the constant sound of a hedge flayer. It is a great shame that this job is now done at this time of year because the hedgerows are full of fruit and berries; tons of Hips, Haws, Sloes and Crab-apples that would go a long way to feed birds and mammals through the winter are being destroyed and wasted.

25th September, Mrs Spokes brings me a desiccated Long-eared Bat found in an outbuilding at Grange Farm.

23rd September, I am about to take the recycling bin down the drive to the place it gets emptied and realise there is distinct whiff of alcohol being emitted from it. This is quite normal but as I stand there a Hummingbird Hawk-moth appears and whizzes around the lid a few times. It then flies off erratically and crash lands on the gate presumably intoxicated. To mark to equinox our Robin sings us his winter song.

Apple of Peru
Birch Shieldbug

22nd September, at CEP 15 Redpoll, several Siskin, 5 Reed Buntings, a Jay, a Song Thrush, and 2 Stonechats are in the wildlife area. There are Blackcaps, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, with Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits, and to top off a good mornings birding a Snipe pops up, and a handful of the passing Meadow Pipits come down on the meadow so I can have a look at them.

16th September, I find a male Speckled Bush-cricket in my garden, and there seems to be a hatching of Crane flies. Swallows and Pipits flying south. Brian finds Birch Shieldbug on The Banks and the wonderful garden escapee, Apple of Peru or Shoo fly Plant off Bakers Lane.

15th September, Cath reports a Hedgehog from her garden off Wright Road. Gangs of juvenile Jackdaws are flying about hassling other birds. Half a dozen fly up from Market Place and mob a Red Kite. They were also seen doing the same thing to a Buzzard above Lime Avenue. A lunchtime trip to the pond at CEP is rewarded by a male Small Red-eyed Damsel plus the usual Common Darters egg-laying in tandem.

Migrant Hawker

14th September, Alan reports roadkill Polecat and Muntjac from the Wharf, and Brian sees a Willow Emerald Damselfly at CEP.

9th September, Barn Owl and Small Copper seen. A flock of 7 Siskin disturbed from an Alder Stand at Hanglands, and there is still a passage of Meadow Pipits overhead.

8th September, a couple of people report that the stream through Mill Park and Park Field is heavily polluted with effluent. One traces it back to an outlet below some farm buildings nearby.

Little Grebe with young
Great-spotted Woodpecker

7th September, Little Egret reported, also singing Chiffchaff, and Mrs Barker has 2 Hedgehogs regularly off Greenhill. Sue and Chris visit Evans’ Ponds and see Chiffchaff, House Martin, and a Dabchick with juvenile. Comma, Speckled Wood, and Small Copper represent the butterflies and they also see a Cinnamon Bug.

6th September, 2 Willow Warblers are calling from the pollarded Limes in St Lawrence’s churchyard. At CEP there is plenty of bird activity prior to the first visitors, with an adult and juvenile Green Woodpecker on the meadow. Great-spotted Woodpecker is calling and there are juvenile Bullfinches, with Goldfinches and a Chaffinch in the Nettle bed. Overhead there is a constant stream of Meadow Pipits, with the odd Siskin, Grey and Yellow Wagtails. An adult and juvenile Spotted Flycatcher sat atop the Willows in the wildlife area. Red Admiral and Large White were about and Southern and Migrant Hawker, along with Common and Ruddy Darter were also noted.

4th September, a Jay moving along hedges off Foxhill Road is the first I’ve seen for ages.

New Book – The Birds of Long Buckby

This amazing book by Nick Roberts (with a little help from Sue Ebbage), is a remarkable insight into the variety (and sometimes rarity), of the birds that visit our parish. Nick shares his passion for birds and the absolute necessity to create green spaces for both nature and us and the work that is being done by an army of volunteers, to ensure we have such spaces within Long Buckby.

This ground breaking book is available now to purchase for £15 from The Peephole High Street, Long Buckby, via email to: info@longbuckbygreenspaces.com or via the PayPal button on the website.

Proceeds from the book will be donated to Long Buckby Green Spaces.

Read more