Our date in the New Forest came to an end on the August Bank Holiday weekend. And it rounding off our busiest year since the project began in 2007, with a fantastic 22,000 visitors watching the goshawk and hobby nestcams at the Forestry Commission's New Forest Reptile Centre.
The non-stop action kicked-off in April with the surprise return of an old friend. An ex-captive female goshawk gone wild, who first appeared in 2007, made her spectacular return to our screens this year.
Two chicks hatched mid-May amidst heavy storms and high winds, knocking the female goshawk head over heels out of the nest! Sadly, the third chick only survived the first 24 hours and disappeared from the nest in bad weather.
The remaining chicks went from strength to strength, both successfully fledging late June, having proven their hunting skills by displaying their first 'catch' in front of the camera. The male goshawk was clearly a great provider for his family.
With summer progressing a-pace, next up on the webcam were the charismatic hobby pair. Two eggs were laid mid-June with one chick successfully hatching on 15 July. Rapid growth from downy chick to inquisitive juvenile in just over a month, puts this well-fed youngster in good stead for its epic trip to Africa, where it will spend winter. Some 6,650 Bird of Prey Campaign pledges were signed over the season to help support these amazing raptors, and the New Forest team is looking forward to more incredible images next year, at what is a privileged look at the secret lives of our most elusive birds of prey.
It's been a wet summer all across Scotland, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of John McGruther, who's been out and about in Glasgow's Pollok Park since June.
Meeting loads of people in the park's visitor centre, John has had great fun giving everyone a special insight into the lives of the swallow families that nested nearby.
In August, John ran a very popular stall at the Pollok Family Fun Day, and also attended the Glasgow Show, where the focus was on another of our summer migrants - swifts.
Thanks to everyone who helped us raise an impressive £600 over three months by buying a pin badge, the proceeds of which will go to fund our projects around Scotland, and the world.
As we say goodbye to swallows flying off to Africa this month, we thank them for our brief date, and look forward to renewing our acquaintance with them next year!
This weekend saw many of our Date with Nature projects come to an end. However, our date with the birds of Ironbridge must be one of the few where there really was a bird to suit all tastes!
Sharon Boardman, Midland Region People Engagement Officer, tells us more:
'We've had a great season this year at Ironbridge - have met hundreds of people and chatted to them about not only the wildlife at the gorge, but also the history of the famous and historical Iron bridge.
Since this date with nature project began, we have been lucky to see a huge range of species, including; glossy black-capped marsh tits, and small, untidy willow tits, the very attractive but hard to see wood warbler, as well as nuthatches. We've been visited by bright pinkish-red breasted bullfinches, flocks of highly-coloured and sociable goldfinches, been dazzled by the aerial antics of swifts, swallows and house martins, plus been lucky enough to catch sight of the unmistakable bright blue and orange flash of the local kingfishers. For anyone that loves birds of prey, we saw peregrines, sparrowhawks, and buzzards gliding and soaring above our viewpoint, and heard the repetitive song of a song thrush,... plus saw a few grey squirrels!
We are looking to be back at this great site next year - and we hope you will join us!'
As the kittiwakes at Splash Point start to leave the cliff face that has been their home for the past few months, Kate Whitton, Date With Nature organiser at RSPB South East, gives us an update on their progress:
'Although we didn't manage to do a colony count this year, from what we could see the kittiwakes seem to have had a good crop of youngsters, with many adults fledging at least one chick.
Unlike last year, the heat doesn't seem to have affected them too much this year - which is a relief, although the crows were seen on many occasions harrying the chicks as they sat in their nests.
But it hasn't all been kittiwakes - we have had wonderful views of a peregrine family. Two adults have been stooping off the cliff, and their two youngsters have been alarming the colony, sometimes preventing adult kittiwakes from landing back on the cliff by sitting on the kittiwake nests!
We have had sightings of gannet and common scoter from our viewpoint, as well as watching the antics of nesting rock pipits.
The kittiwake youngsters were mostly fully grown by mid-July, and the whole colony seemed to be ready to depart back out to sea by the end of our time here.
I'm sure that this year they started to nest a bit earlier than normal, as when we started the project there weren't lots of fluffy chicks. Instead, many chicks were already starting to grow their adult feathers.
We've had a really great time watching the kittiwakes - thanks to all of you who came and said 'hi'. And for those who didn't make it down our way - we hope to see you in 2010.'
As the only chick to hatch from a clutch of two, the New Forest hobby youngster has had it easy up until now - being waited on beak and claw by attentive parents. But that's all about to change now that our youngster has finally left the nest.
Having been lavished with food and attention, this lone fledgling has grown from cute ball of fluff to nearly independent adult, in only a couple of weeks.
Leaving the nest on Friday was a big step in this hobbies life, as it means he (although it might be a she - the sexes aren't as clear as in other birds of prey) is nearly ready to make his first long-haul flight to stay the winter in Africa – a journey he'll do all on his own!
We reckon the young bird will stay around the nest for a few more weeks, so be sure to pop down to see us at the New Forest Reptile Centre, near Lyndhurst before this bird sets off on a remarkable journey.