We used to have four seasons. When I was a lad, September meant chill mornings, the first ground frost, wind and rain. October was all about fallen leaves, bare trees, mud and the smell of garden bonfires - and a lot more wind and rain. November - well, that was proper winter.
Now it seems that we have just the one season, a largely benign, mild twelve-monther that has the odd hot day (which will be 30C +), the odd windy day (force 9-10) and the odd wet day (a month's worth in 24 hours) - so a procession of bang ordinary weather interrupted by a few extremes. It can be as warm in December as in June, with more rain in July than in February. It's all over the place.
Even though it is November 1st tomorrow I've been walking around in a shirt, could have worn shorts, got sunburnt, swatted away loads of flies and have seen plenty of butterflies and dragonflies.
There were few clues to the actual season from the birds, with no 'summer' or 'winter' migrants, just the same tired residents. Two Dartford Warblers broke the silence mid-afternoon and struck up a friendship with a small flock of Stonechats, as they frequently do. With these we had to make do, as Spurn reeled in yet another big rarity. They must be fed up with all the rarity description writing. If they want to take a rest, and let Dungeness take over, that's fine by us.