A beautiful sunny, still and cool morning, starting to feel even a bit autumnal. There were lots of birds around, especially in the neighbours' large birch trees at the foot of the garden. Family groups of blue tits, great tits, goldfinches, greenfinches, blackbirds and house sparrows were more apparent than usual. A singing willow warbler and a lesser whitethoat (new for the garden and species #313 for the microEden list) were not locals. They are migrant warblers slowly moving south & west, feeding up for the long migration to Africa as they go. Families of swallows, house martins and swifts were overhead - the swifts will be gone any day now, heading South. By 10.00 am the birds are almost silent - you'd never know they were there.
It seems a good time to mention the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and their Garden Birdwatch survey that collects data - weekly maximum counts - of the bird species in your garden. You can also optionally record other wildlife like mammals, butterflies, etc. This is great as everyone's records build up a very representative dataset of changes in bird populations in gardens across the UK. The website it interesting. Consider signing up - It's not too much of a commitment (https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw)