House martins and swallowsLots of reports of these two species still using their nests. They can both have up to three broods over the season so these are cutting it fine and squeezing the last out of summer(?). Swallows and martins can remain in the UK until October or November.
Finch disease - TrichomoniasisStill lots of reports coming in of sick and dead finches. More information can be seen here - Please help us keep a track of these incidents by filling and returning the downloadable form. Trichomoniasis isn't the only disease that can affect birds - see attached PDF file below for details of other possibilities.
Sparrowhawks and white-tailed eaglesLots of queries and some complaints about sparrowhawks in gardens. Also a troublesome white-tailed eagle taking chickens from a garden in Scotland.
CormorantsWe received quite a few queries about cormorants in distress. These are usually around the coast so the birds may be exhausted and washed ashore. Some, including juveniles, have been seen inland around rivers - unless obviously injured or distressed these are nothing to worry about - http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/cormorant/index.asp
NestboxesLots of nestbox queries. We recommend cleaning them now to give birds a cosy winter roost - information here We were also sent a cardboard nestbox to comment on. There were a few words that sprung to mind.......
Tufted puffinThe tufted puffin seen off the Kent coast last week caused a big stir, but only made a brief appearance for the lucky few who were in the right place at the right time.
IDsWe received a very good description of a yellow-browed warbler in Bucks. These birds are regular but rare migrants to the UK. Worth looking out for amongst goldcrest flocks.
As to the lateness of the swallows and housemartins, could they be benefiting from the population explosion of craneflies, spiders and other insects as reported on the news this morning. I can testify to the number of spiders as I seem to be no quicker putting them outside than they are back again.