A wander up to the allotment in the early evening offered more than I had expected. As I rounded the corner on the path up to the patch a small falcon, brown wings and body with a vaguely striped tail shot out of a tree, flying low to the ground before rising steeply into an oak. It remained here for 5 minutes, giving good views to the naked eye. No camera or binoculars. A merlin, the smallest British falcon. This was either a female or 1st calendar year bird, probably the latter. A good sight and 1 that I had only expected a 10% chance of encountering.
Also, in the sunny afternoon I managed to snap a ruddy darter and small tortoiseshell on the garden fence, both shown here.