An all-dayer today at Freiston and the Witham mouth wasn’t brilliant but I can confirm that Autumn has begun in the birding world. Waders have started to return or pass through already. Lots of curlews around, either flying south or feeding in the wash and on the saltmarsh. A few whimbrels too. About 60 golden plovers in varying plumage showed at the Witham mouth along with the odd grey. There were around 40 avocets and a common sandpiper. Swifts were flying south. One pink footed goose remained, along with five brent geese. Nine eiders bobbed and dived. Lots of seals on the sandbars. My bird of the day was this eclipse drake garganey on the wet grassland, first time I’ve seen one in this stage of moult.