In the first four days of October we have had two–three times the rainfall that we had throughout the whole of September.

Over the past week we have had the first frost, first evening with the wood burner lit, and the first mornings with the heating on. A small flock of mistle thrushes was in the chestnut tree in the church yard next door – we occasionally see a pair around here, but to see a flock can only mean they are winter migrants from the continent.

This morning, while walking the dog in the rain, I watched a handful of swallows flying at ground level in a neighbouring field, weaving in and out of a flock of sheep. So still a few remnants around.

Firsts and lasts.

The swallows have definitely left now, the odd straggler around, possibly the late brood feeding up before leaving. Heard a Little owl during the night, the first I’ve heard this autumn. Various warblers on the move as well: willow warblers, chiffchaffs, and blackcaps.