Autumn arrived right on time with warm sunny days giving way to a cold north easterly wind and later, some torrential rain.

Up until that time much of our wildlife had benefitted including white butterflies being on the wing right up to the last days of September which is quite unusual.

However, whites (small white pictured) were the only butterflies to fare well as the remainder of our species declined by a massive thirty four percent compared with last summer, the lowest number recorded for eleven years.

Honey bees made the most of the weather and the massed flowers of my two Michaelmas daisies acted as a magnet for them.

Forecasters predict a cold winter ahead so is this reflected in the early arrival of redwings from Scandinavia?

Swallows are flying south followed a little later by house martins on their way back to Africa. I've been thrilled this summer to have seen a hobby on three occasions.

Somewhat resembling a peregrine falcon but smaller, the hobby is a most elegant and dashing flyer which preys mainly on dragonflies so must have fed well as those insects were numerous this year.

The hobby also targets swifts and swallows if he can catch them and will follow the swallows to Africa to spend the winter there.

Other signs of autumn include the wistful songs of robins, the bellowing of deer echoing across Richmond and Bushy parks and as we open our front doors at night, daddy longlegs ( crane flies), blunder in, shedding the odd leg as they go.