While walking the dog this afternoon across the South Downs, I was astonished to see a small flock of swallows. Swallows in Sussex in mid-October! I think I have heard of them over-wintering in England occasionally, but surely that only happened in the south-west? Still, I don't suppose they will be staying around much longer. It's very definitely getting colder.
Thinking of birds, I have been trying to find out if house sparrows and greenfinches interbreed. There is a flock of sparrows around here with several greenfinches in its number. While they have the greenfinch's yellow wing flash and the rump and tail markings of the greenfinch, their body colour is much more drab than usual, closely resembling a plainer female sparrow's brown than the finches more vivid green.
Maybe I've stumbled upon a naturalist's first!