One morning this last week I stepped outside at first light. It was very still and quiet. My attention was drawn to the sound of redwings overhead. The first I’ve seen this autumn. Just a few small flocks but a sure sign of the turning of the seasons. Later on the same day I saw a handful of swallows. Another remnant of summer. Two species who’s combined migratory range extends from Siberia to South Africa.

It’s strange how a sight or sound can be so evocative of a particular season that in a single day two separate moments can feel like completely different times of year.

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.

It might be my over active imagination, but golden hour seems to be continuing longer after sunrise than I'd normally expect. I wonder if there are enough particulates from the US wildfires in the atmosphere here to cause a noticeable effect?It might be my over active imagination, but golden hour seems to be continuing longer after sunrise than I’d normally expect. I wonder if there are enough particulates from the US wildfires in the atmosphere here to cause a noticeable effect?