Saturday, 3 August 2019

Swift Summer Over?

The third day of August, and already the neighbourhood swifts have flown. There were a couple passing by quietly the evening before last, and that, it seems, was that – an early finish to the swift season. No doubt I'll see more elsewhere before they're all gone – last year my final sighting was on August 19th, and my first of this year was on May 1st, so at least the close season was pleasingly short. It always seems too soon, though, when the swifts disappear. We have them for a scant three months, in which time they manage to mate, nest and raise a brood to the point where they can fly South with the older birds. They are extraordinary, mysterious creatures, and we are lucky to have them with us for that short season, the 'Swift Summer'.
  Talking of flying South, today we are off on the first leg of the annual pilgrimage to Dieppe, with son, daughter-in-law and their two enchanting children. This short visit has become a fixture, and continues – even unto the third generation – a tradition that began 30 years ago, back in those golden days when the Dieppe ferries were fast and frequent, and sailed right into the heart of the town. Au revoir, mes amis! I'll be back by the end of next week...