Swifts return

Every year I eagerly await the arrival of Swifts. Brampton is home to a declining number, presumably due to the loss of nest sites as buildings are being re-roofed and closed off. This morning two pairs screamed their way around the roof tops of the village. Reports of their arrival elsewhere in Norfolk was causing a degree of anxiety about a Brampton no-show. But they have got here. It is likely that the showery weather has pushed the insects down to lower levels, thus bringing the Swifts with them. As the poet Ted Hughes put it, the Swifts circle madly “Racing their discords, screaming as if speed-burned..” As if to announce their ownership of the air space around the eves.

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