Usually the first thing I do every morning is to open the back door and have a look at what is going on with the day. Yesterday morning this gave me a good clue of the day to come. A chiffchaff zipped out of the fish box vegetable beds and then another joined it on the brae behind. I always reckon if I have migrants by my back door first thing then it is likely to be a good bird day. And as soon as I headed out it proved to be right. Parties of bramblings and chaffinches, redwings and song thrushes whirled overhead and grounded migrants started to appear, a whinchat down at alterstanes, a wheatear at St. Andrews Well. a tree pipit near 3 tarn nick and later redstarts, reed buntings and ring ouzels. By lunchtime more had come in, the species list had lengthened and immediately behind my cottage was not only a yellow-browed warbler but 2 chiffchaffs, a dunnock, a robin and a lesser whitethroat, all being bullied by the resident rock pipits.
So I do consider myself very lucky to have outside my back door not only a sheltering spot for a range of migrants but also earlier in the year a pair of nesting rock pipits that I watched as I drank my coffee and of course a hillside of puffins, the closest burrow not much more than 20 yards away. As back door steps go this one is pretty good.