A morning so nice that it calls me out, despite massive child-related sleep deprivation and my 8 month old daughter on my back. And birds are on the move: Siskins, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Mistle Thrushes all passing overhead, mingling with the remaining House Martins and Swallows - not all of whom are this years juveniles:
And then things get better. I leave the overhead migration above North Field and approach a small copse. There is a movement of vibrating red and a Redstart flicks up into a Silver Birch, perches for 2 seconds and is gone. The third Cuddesdon record in 4 years, the previous autumn one being 12th September 2009. In local terms this is a rare bird - a species not quite found annually here. Which, by the laws of relativity, makes it as good a find as finding a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler on Fair Isle... or perhaps slightly better.
Not that it feels quite the same though.
In South Field the recent extreme weather has brought about some positive habitat change - a temporary wetland! The loafing Gull flock consists of about 300 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Herring Gulls and 300 Lesser Black-back Gulls and the flood has attracted 50 Lapwing and a couple of Grey Herons. Nice, but no cigar. 84 species for the year.
Wader wonderland. Lapwings sans Dotterel: