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
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