When I get up for work now I have to put a light on. Same when I come home. Its not dark then, but its 90 minutes away. With this equinoctal ( is that even a word?) lighting, things are changing all around. Leaves are beginning to fall, things smell damp and the Robins Pincushions are reddening up nicely. Just like a page from the Ladybird Book of What to Look for in Autumn.
On Tuesday I found my earliest ever county Yellow-browed Warbler on the coast path when I was out with Bunty at first light. It called twice and stayed unseen. But I knew that was it. The year was passing on.
On Bunty's 'before bed walk' it was still and clear outside, and very mild. Either 4 or 6 Tawny Owls were calling, a pair of which ended up keeping us awake in our garden later, a Barn Owl was hissing and a Golden Plover whistled off key as it flew west in the darkness . The bats feeding under our two streetlights didnt seem to notice.
On Wednesday morning, the YBW was still in the same spot but calling its head off and flickering around the bushes. I noticed for the first time since April that there were no hirundines above our village. None on passage either. Maybe its just our locals have taken advantage of the recent Northerlies to give them a lift on their way?
50 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails and 3 Pied Wagtails headed south without a swallow escort.
This morning, I flushed the YBW from some nettles along the coast path, a very sheltered spot from the southerly breeze. A Whimbrel trilled S and 3 Ruff were with 25 Curlews flying across the bay. Two young Swallows tacked S, but that was all.
In an average year the main arrival time here for Yellow brows is 22nd Sept while our village Swallows tend to move off on 23rd. This year both have been early.
I wonder if it is an omen of something?