Nature Notes – October 2020

by Andrew Johnson

With dusk falling earlier, now is a good time to see tawny owls sitting at high points in the village as they contest for winter territories by hooting. There are regular sightings of a barn owl sitting on posts between Fence Dyke Lane and The Grange.

Many of you may have noticed the absence of blackbirds lately. After breeding and moulting they migrate to the south and west of England but will gradually return during October to be met by blackbirds that have nested in Scandinavia and winter in Britain. Fortunately this year has been a good one for hips, haws and rowan berries, so there is plenty of food for the impending flocks of redwings and fieldfares.

Elephant Hawkmoth

Recently Harry Fawcett found a large dark caterpillar on his lawn which looks like that of an elephant hawkmoth. If any of you have interesting nature experiences, please would you let me know so I can share them here.