As I write, house martins are still wheeling in the sky above my little corner of suburbia in Clackmannanshire.

But the clock is ticking away and any day now they will be gone, having embarked upon a marathon migration to their African wintering grounds.

They are one of the last of our summer visitors to leave and as the skies empty of their swirling forms, they will be replaced by skeins of geese coming in from their Arctic breeding grounds. It is a time of change and also one of great excitement.

The house martin is such a sociable little bird that actively enjoys being with its own kind as they wheel together in the air.

Modern houses with their large overhanging eaves provide perfect places for the martins to build their mud nests.

Of course, their droppings can cause a bit of a mess below – but for those of a superstitious inclination, one should also bear in mind that in folklore it is deemed as good luck to have martins nesting on your house and bad luck should you harm them.

There are still many signs of summer hanging on, including a calling chiffchaff near my house last week.

Up by a forestry track in the Ochils, I also came upon a family of spotted flycatchers. They too will be migrating south very shortly to warmer climes.

They are scarce birds in these parts and in recent decades numbers have plummeted alarmingly, possibly due to environmental changes on their wintering grounds in western Africa.

While spotted flycatchers are rather unremarkable looking small grey birds, they are nonetheless most interesting to watch as they continually launch themselves from a prominent perch to pluck tiny flies out of the air.