Saturday, 5 September 2009

Immigration Crisis Over: Swallows Leaving


Lord knows what our robins, blackbirds, tits and finches think when waves of hirundines, warblers and swifts sweep into the country from the Third World. Is there an avian equivalent of the BNP? And would the blackbirds be welcome in it anyway? It’s not even as though party leader, Griffon (Vulture), is a native.

OK, that's enough allegory. Or is it metaphor? Upton Warren today saw a stream of swallows, house martins and sand martins pushing their way back to Africa. Hobbies seemed to be following: one perched obligingly by the Moors Pool and darted out for insects. Another laboured over the hide with some unidentifiable feathered victim in its talons.

Birds of prey, in general, appeared to be on the move, too. I saw several buzzards, one of which looked distinctly osprey-like with long, straight, fingered wings. The light was appalling and I was trying to see through trees, so I had to write it off as yet another one that got away. I heard later that a marsh harrier had passed at about that time but I would never have put my bird down as any sort of harrier.

No rarities, then. But some damn fine birds all the same.

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