Sunday, 13 April 2008

Embracing Swallows

This Willow Warbler is another of Mike Atkinson's photos. If you haven't yet checked out his site - do. Just click on the link from my blog - but don't copy his photos! Inspirational though they are....

Today I got my boots muddy, tramping my tetrad for the Birdaltas Bird survey - and what joy - I saw my first 4 swallows in Euxton this year. Welcome back! They were flick-flack-twisting over Commissary's Farm, taking a well deserved feast, I think, after flying all that way. Glad to report that willow warblers and chiffchaff have also returned. This photo is a willow warbler, very like the chiffchaff until it starts to sing. Also the chiffchaff flicks its tail every time it flits, flits, flits through the trees.


With a glide and flutter they land
on telephone wires. Excited chatter.
Saharan sun-scorched faces,
grass-dust and salt-spray still fresh on bellies,
they thirst to procreate.
Before phones ever ring
they know
when the feet of flies tickle English celandines,
and wings beat,
butterflying north,
tracing the curves of Earth,
weaving lovers’ lace
through the skies.
And as violets rush to colour
swallows sweep to barns,
build, rebuild their nests,
hatch, feed, fledge
the returning pulse of life.

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from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.