Daylight hours are dwindling and misty moisty mornings can be quite chilly now.

Grass glistens as the sun rises and delicate dew-spangled garden spider's webs are slung between fences and hedgerows with always the female perched head down awaiting an unwary fly or daddy-long-legs to blunder by.

I've noticed that in recent years garden, or orb-web spiders, have become less common and that may reflect a reduction in insect prey as most species of insect are declining also.

Squirrels and jays prospect for acorns to store below ground for the winter. Squirrels may remember where they cached some but jays have a better memory and recover most when needed. Any missed will eventually germinate and small oak woods could pop up as a result.

We are approaching the climax of the rutting season and in Richmond and Bushy parks the far-reaching belching bellow of red stags can be heard in contrast to the softer coughing burps of fallow bucks.

Deep in woodland tawny owls hoot and the mewing of little owls can sometimes be heard during the day, especially in Richmond park.

On waterways, most mallard have already paired up and look resplendent in colourful new plumage while black headed gulls are returning inland.

Perhaps surprisingly, about eleven species of moth fly in autumn and winter and thirty years ago when they were relatively plentiful, I used to see some perched outside on window panes demonstrating the 'moth to a flame' syndrome or drifting through my car headlights but this rarely happens now.