This week and next week are induction weeks, part days at school to help the wee ones settle in. I have 1001 things to do that have built up whilst I've been goofing about with the kids over the last six weeks and getting angsty about Moroccan Turtle Doves. This morning I ended up packing a bit into the three hour window, swimming, for the first time without kids for five years, a bit of foraging resulting in a few days supply of Blackberries for breakfast and of course a little birding.
With the Indian Summer continuing I took the dog to Linton Pond this morning as I haven't visited one of my former patches for several months. The wood was almost-springlike with Chiffchaffs flicking everywhere, and at least one singing, a tribe of Long-tailed Tits constantly calling as they whirred around between the hawthorns and oaks. A single Blackcap and probably the bird of the morning a Spotted Flycatcher feeding from the oaks then the hawthorn tops adjacent to the mineral line. They don't breed in the wood (or at least they didn't) so presumably a migrant.
On the pond 17 Little Grebes, a single Great Crested Grebe, 3 Pochard and 3 Shoveler were the pick of a quiet but pleasant half-hour from the hide. Still plenty hirundines of all three persuasions moving north to south.
A walk along the lane to the north produced more Chiffchaffs and a southbound Buzzard drifting over in the morning sun.