It's relatively quiet in the Not-So-Big Woods. The hummingbirds have moved south. We spotted the last one, frantically drinking from the feeder, on October 2. Our year-round residents, the tufted titmice, chickadees, and cardinals, are taking much less food from us than usual. I guess they're filling up on the autumn buffet available in the woods, because their visits to our cafe are of the "grab and go" variety, rather than a "stay a while and fill up" encounter.
The house finches are gone, taking their chirpy quarrels with them. I think we have two populations that visit. One stays with us during the warm season, raising their little ones here, then they disappear when the days get short. Another group must breed further north, and they arrive more-or-less synchronized with the annual goldfinch brigade.
Right now, it's like the calm few moments before a giant gust of wind brings a downpour. I know my winter friends are coming, and hungry.