Leading a course in the Carneddau on Sunday, it was good to see young Wheatears foraging among the rocks, a Pied Flycatcher dropping from a branch to grab insects, and a pair of Redstarts commuting with small green caterpillars to a nest in the roof of a cottage. For others, such as the Siskins calling from the highest branches of the forestry plantation, the breeding season is already a distant memory. So too for the Ravens tumbling over the summit and Long-tailed Tits working their way through the oak trees, having already formed a flock in readiness for winter.
We heard two Cuckoos, which may be my last until next April. Many are already heading south. Of 12 Cuckoos tracked by the British Trust for Ornithology, six are in France including one already close to the Riviera resort of Cannes. They should soon be joined by JAC, ringed near Llandegla in 2021, which is heading south through Herefordshire after spending spring in the same area of moorland near Wrexham. Another Welsh-tagged Cuckoo - Daniel - remains in Montgomeryshire, mainly on moorland above Lake Vyrnwy but with occasional forays to a site 20 miles east on the Shropshire border, identical to movements that it made last summer.
A Wood Sandpiper at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands on the Dee estuary is another sign that the northern hemisphere is about to tilt away from the sun. Over the coming weeks, expect to see more waders dropping into North Wales as they head towards the equator from their Arctic breeding sites.
Hooded Crows were again at RSPB South Stack and the Clwyd estuary, with one over Cors Bodeilio, near Pentraeth. A Rose-coloured Starling was near Caernarfon airport, and a moulting Whooper Swan remains around Porthmadog Cob having been unable to fly to Iceland with the rest of the Glaslyn flock in spring.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.