Where I live (Staffordshire), we have a breeding colony of swifts. They’re always the last migrants to arrive and the first to go and ours have now long departed. I went to Bulgaria on August 5 and as I left my house there were numerous birds in the area.
I came back five days later and they had all gone. Occasionally I see a single swift once the majority have departed, either from the original colony or else a migrating bird that passes over, but this year, August 5 was the last date for our birds.
However, when fishing on the River Severn (Shropshire) on September 1, I saw one swift in migration flight. We’re now into October so I am confident when I say that was my last one of 2019.
At the other end of the scale, there are the Shotatton Crossroads (Shropshire) lapwings. As I travel along the A5 many times over the course of the year, they are familiar faces during the winter months. I always keep an eye open for them, especially for the first sightings, and that was on September 27.
I’ve seen them since so they’re here to stay now for the next few months, until they depart for their breeding grounds in the spring.
Then there’s the last butterfly. You never know with these as they can turn up at any time during the year. I did see a small tortoiseshell in flight across the beach at Tal-y-Bont (Merionethshire) on October 1.
A day later, in the same area, I saw another small tortoiseshell, several small and large whites and the final one to date, a painted lady in the sand dunes.
Finally, talking about the beach at Tal-y-Bont, the video below features fungi seen in the sand dunes.