Swifts and Swifts

To: "Canberra Birds" <>
Subject: Swifts and Swifts
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 21:14:50 +1100
Walked up the front steps at 6:40pm today in the immediate aftermath of a light, squally thunder shower, and noticed a number of swifts flitting around, describing a wide circle. There was still plenty of light and only light overcast and, as the birds were no more than 30 metres away, I didn't have to fetch my binoculars. I was delighted to identify them as Fork-tailed Swifts, probably about twenty. A lot of the time they descended to within five metres of the roof tops.
At times their tails were forked, at other times they were held in the pointed configuration. I wonder if that's where old Barnes Wallace got his idea for a swing-winged bomber. Sorry, my enthusiasm for things that fly engenders digression.
But wait! There's more serendipity. By way of nice comparison, I noticed some five White-throated Needletails interspersed in the flock. After about three minutes the swifts moved on.
On the debit side of the ledger: Alackaday and blow my luck! No one else was home except me and Inkypink. And I-pink couldn't give a toot about the birds. His narrow, but beautiful, little feline mind was firmly focussed on the fridge because he knew it contained his din-dins.
In a few month's time I'm gonna take a permanent tree-change out west and take my verbosity with me. Wagga's gain, Canberra's loss, I reckon. Nonetheless, there's a few things I'll miss about the latter.
John K. Layton
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