Our swifts left a couple of weeks ago, despite one year recently staying into September. We had a lovely summer of watching their aerobatics over our roofs. (Though less pleasing is the fact that our roofer who had assured us he would fit the swift nestbox for free, walked off with said nestbox and won't reply to my emails).
We don't usually see swallows near where we live, but this year I saw one up the road in a carpark of all places and we've seen a few over the canal. But fewer of them where we would expect to see them in the fields.....
This has been a year of seeing lots of blackcaps - a bird I usually hear a lot, and what a beautiful song it has, but normally I don't see them very often. The blackcap is traditionally a summer bird but is overwintering in the UK more and more.
The cuckoo is struggling in large parts of the UK, but when we were in Skye the air echoed with their song and I even saw two of them!
I've not read any conservation overview of how butterflies have done this year, but personally I've never seen so many for years. Comma butterflies by the Water of Leith, a gathering of peacocks in a patch of thistles, more small coppers than I've ever seen in one place and fields shimmering with hundreds of white butterflies.
Today when I walked along the Water of Leith, it actually felt more like summer, the sun was bright (apart from the sudden five minute shower) and the birds were singing. But it was the twittering of winter tit and finch flocks gathering and the robin's sad autumnal song.
I'm looking forward to the winter thrushes arriving and looking around at rowan trees heavy with bright berries, I'm hoping for the waxwings to appear this year, though they are very unpredictable!