Every now and then birding gives you a 'surely not?' moment. This morning was one of those.
As is my general practice on getting up in the morning, I spent a few minutes watching the garden feeders from my landing window with the old pair of binoculars I keep to hand. After watching the starlings, house sparrows and collared doves fighting amongst themselves, I tracked a coal tit from the feeder back to the trees at the far end of the garden. There I spotted a small non-descript warbler picking its way through some old fruit trees - annoyingly I couldn't 100% ID it at that distance, but I'd guess at a late / overwintering chiffchaff. Unusual enough.
Then I put the bins down, looked out again, and a House Martin dashed low over the roof, along the length of my garden and off over the fields to the south. Perfect (if brief) views, white rump and all, but it's November 2nd! Surely some mistake. Some hours later I'm now doubting my sanity and my eyesight, but I'd be amazed if even I could have got that wrong. I've heard there have been some late broods this year, but that fella must be setting some kind of record for setting off late - must be at least at least a month late. Hope he makes it.
Bird of the day: House Martin (Delichon urbica), a common sight over many towns and villages in late spring and summer, but usually back in Africa by now.