Friday, 1 May 2009

The swifts have returned!

I was pegging out the washing this morning (it's the only domestic chore I like doing) and checking on the vegetable seedlings in the plastic-house, enjoying the feeling of the sun on my back, birds singing away when I suddenly heard a familiar (and much-missed) sound - 'squee squee' - that can mean only one thing: the swifts have returned. Gazing up into the achingly blue sky I spotted them, two dark, thin crescent shapes, weaving around each other. As I watched, another joined them, then another until there were six in all. I like to think they must have arrived overnight, finally completing the 5,500 mile journey from South Africa that they endure every year, and they're gathering together to have a quick gossip before getting on with the important business of finding a mate and somewhere to nest. The sadness is that they're only here for12 weeks to raise their young, and then they're off again and the skies are just that much quieter.

Every year I watch out for the return of the swifts - summer can't begin without them. Last year they arrived on 3 May so they're 2 days earlier this year. They always give the impression of having so much fun - they're the fastest flying birds on the planet and I just adore that 'whoosh' you get when they swoop low overhead, squealing as they go. I would choose a Swift as my daemon.


elizabethm said...

I love them and swallows too. hadn't thought how to describe the noise until reading this but you have it just right!

Mrs Jones said...

Hi Elizabethm - the weird thing is, I didn't say any more of them all day so thought I might have invented them (even though The Husband saw them too), however have just been out to feed the birds and saw 2 flying around, so they're definitely back!

GingerB said...

Mrs. Jones - I was waiting for your battle of the bands with whoever else it was commenting on Belgian Waffle, so I picked on you for a meme and tagged you on my blog - daring you to answer in song titles or lyrics just to up the ante. And most of the bloggers I tagged don't know me, I just read and comment there so they'll likely ignore me.

I have never seen a swift - perhaps they are never in No. America? That photo is beautiful and unreal. Maybe that would make me like laundry too. Did you ever see the film Winged Migration?