Saturday, 6 June 2020

Swift Storm

After the long May heatwave, the weather has certainly broken now. This morning was cool and blustery, with fine rain in the air, as I strolled through the park. Standing, looking vaguely about me, on the slope of a large depression known as the Hog Pit, I suddenly felt something airborne zoom past me, within inches of my face – then another, then another – and I realised I was in the midst of a swift storm. The birds were hurtling down and around the dip, then up again, still close to the ground (and to me), and into the air, circling, then down again, around, up again, all at tremendous speed... There must have been twenty of more birds – impossible to count them when they're moving so fast – obviously coming together to feed on some sudden abundance of flying insect life in the Hog Pit. Within minutes they had all drifted away, and it was as if it had never happened. It was a wonderful, exhilarating experience – as close as I've ever been to a swift in full flight. What magical birds they are...

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