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17 May 2007

One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer...but maybe a handful of Swifts do!

On a grey muggy day like today (and the past week) it's hard to think about summer. As I trudged around the playing field with Brac (I'm only walking him on grass until his foot toughens up a bit more) my thoughts were more about considering how many more circuits I should do before returning for lunch. That was until a familiar but distant sound penetrated my skull. It was the screaming of what sounded like a swift. I looked up and scanned the sky from where the sound came and sure enough two swifts were flying in lazy loops and calling out to each other. They were hard to amke out against the thunderous clouds but as I scanned further I saw more high up, tossing and turning as if celebrating the end of their arduous journey. There were about half a dozen in all, not many but a sure sign that Summer is only around the corner.


Dianne said...

Enlighten the ignorant here. What is a Swift?

Sally T said...

A swift is a bit like a swallow or house martin but from a different family. It has very long wings and tiny feet. They migrate with the swallows and martins to West Africa every winter.

Linda said...

We get swifts, or a variety thereof, in the village near our house. They must like to nest in buildings or roofs of buildings as they are always flying around making that sound high overhead. One day about 50 of them flew in a sort of formation and took turns dipping into our swimming pool for a drink. I've never seen that before or since.

Sally T said...

I love the swifts in France. They seem to love the building style in your more provincial towns. Maybe because they are a bit craggy. In late summer when the young birds are getting fit for their first migration they gather in groups and race each other around and between the buildings screaming as they go. sometimes making amazingly sharp bends as tremendous speed just like a load of hooligans. It's a sound that stays with me and I just love to watch them. How they never bump into each other I will never know.