Friday, 11 July 2014

Crash landing

I didn't notice it on the way to the dustbin, just walked straight by. But on the way back to the house I couldn't miss the swift that was flattened face down on the concrete drive.
With plumage that was a dusty sort of grey I assumed it was a fledgling whose maiden flight had ended badly. It was about 9pm, so I guessed it had plucked up courage to leave the nest, but then failed its first (and last) flying test.

I decided to put the bin back in the kitchen before clearing away the body. Heading to the backdoor I spotted our cat watching from a distance and couldn't help thinking he had some part in it all.
But yes, you've guessed it - when I did pick the swift up it was far from dead. It's struggling took me completely by surprise and, as I straightened up, it wriggled from between my hands.
It crashed to the ground, but its flapping feet got it a few vital inches back up into the air. With its wings going at double quick time that was enough to get it off over the pond and away down the valley.
Our cat looked as surprised by the outcome as I was, but a little disappointed too. I'm sure he would have loved to have got to the downed flier first.
And half an hour later the little screaming party of swifts that have been out each night were doing their thing again, racing up and down over the houses for the sheer hell of it. This year I've only seen four each evening, but last night there were seven - hopefully my fledgling was one of them.


  1. It's such a challenge, learning to fly - having to keep up in the air till you get the hang of it.

    Wondering - did you decide on a tree to follow? It still says 'tree to be announced' in the list.

    If you are thinking of doing a post - the next link box will be on 7th August.

  2. Hi Lucy, I did pick a tree (May 5) but then forgot to send you the link - sorry! Could you update your list now to include my oak?

  3. Thanks. Have added info. that it's an oak you are following. Looking forward to finding out how it grows, what kind of autumn it has and whether it's still there in the spring.