Here’s the second of my posts for 30 Days Wild, the Wildlife Trusts’ month-long initiative to encourage people to connect with nature.
Today’s birdy walk started with a red kite over my street. The gulls told me. Suddenly they all went up in an agitated and noisy way; a sure sign they’ve spotted a predator. I took my time scanning above, knowing there’d be something they had seen long before me, and then I saw it high in the sky. Its forked tail showed me what it was straight away, and then it turned and I got a lovely view of its rufous red back.
Because I’m a bit of a ‘lister’ I keep a record of all the bird species I have ever seen from my house or garden. Is it sad that I quickly ran back and into my front garden, to look at the red kite from there, so I could add to my ‘house list’? Probably, but it still made me happy.
Off I went on my walk where I finally had a clear and certain view of three swifts, after days of being convinced I’d heard them calling but being unable to locate where from. While I was out my husband called to say he’d just seen five red kites flying over! Somehow I missed them, but I was glad he’d seen them. I carried on with my walk. A blackbird sang from a perch on a climbing frame in a pub play area – making the most of what’s left of the lockdown. Often blackbirds stand at ease as they perch, but their wings still resemble a gunslinger ready to ‘smack leather’. This singing bird held its wings a little higher and a bit further open, so that his stance had an air of bird yoga about it.
On returning home, just as I’d sat at my desk for a moment to begin preparing to write this, my husband yelled from the garden that the red kites were back. I grabbed my bins and ran outside. This time there were six! Floating and wheeling above us in a clear blue sky. The white of their wings let the sun through and created a sort of multi coloured silhouette effect. They were there for a while before seemingly splitting into two groups of three and heading west in two processions, flying one bird after another.