The return of the swift at the end of April is a highlight of my year: each spring the screaming overhead of this scythe-winged bird signals the return of warm summer days and reminds me (and Ted Hughes) that the world is still working as it should. There is a danger this may not be for ever though: there are plenty of hazards on the migration paths of summer visitors and many bird species are suffering great reductions in numbers e.g. cuckoo and house martin."They’ve made it again,
Which means the globe’s still working, the Creation’s
Still waking refreshed, our summer’s
Still all to come —
And here they are, here they are again
Erupting across yard stones
Shrapnel-scatter terror. Frog-gapers,
Speedway goggles, international mobsters —
A bolas of three or four wire screams
Jockeying across each other
On their switchback wheel of death."
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Swifts -- "the globe's still working"
swift with this extract: