My standard walk with D#2 - House .> Pishiobury Park -> Beckingham Palace (back of) -> Old Harlow -> Stort path -> cut through the boardwalk back to house. Highlights were Grey Wagtail on Southbrook just outside the house, Kingfisher making a welcome return dashing up the river, a Tawny Owl hooting, and then at 7:05 pm precisely something rather special.
Swallows had been present in good numbers along the river and over Pishiobury House, but over the field east of the Park they all seemed to congregate at once and swarmed all over the field and neighbouring area like a flock of huge flies. I tried counting - first 10, then in tens, then in hundreds, and the best I can do was between 500-1000. Just low, around and above, everywhere you looked.
It felt like I was watching something commonplace from decades ago, something that hardly ever happens now because numbers of all birds are much lower than they were.