It's as if somebody pressed a switch marked 'Autumn'.
While the fields and waters around my office have been stuck in an all-too-dry post-summer lull for many weeks, today's wind and rain brought the whole area bursting into autumnal life.
My thanks go to the nearby buzzard which had them constantly lifting their heads for my closer examination; a female kestrel was also in close attendance on nearby wires, although her attention was mainly taken by mobbing magpies.
On a neighbouring field, the wood pigeons and jackdaws were joined by a loose, mobile flock of 12+ skylarks. A few chaffinches, dunnock and blackbirds edged along the sides of nearby farm hedges, and a big flock of starlings flew into a nearby oak. Carrion crows criss-crossed, a few rooks called loudly from the tallest trees and, out on the lake, a couple of moorhens swam with one each of great crested and little grebe.
A kingfisher, heard by not seen, was a treat on a short but sweet lunchtime walk; an authentic autumnal experience in which only one or two late-calling chiffchaff struck a discordant note as reminders of a summer finally gone.
Bird of the day: Greylag goose (Anser anser), the classic British wild goose: widespread and common, but in flocks no less redolent of autumn than its scarcer cousins.