River of wings

It starts with a drip, a drop, a splash

as a handful of starlings zoom past my window,

causing me to glance up from the computer screen.

I get back to work, but then

the trickle becomes a stream

and holds me, mesmerized.

Pulses, waves of flickering, fluttering birds,

hundreds, then thousands.

I cannot help but marvel,

following them with my eyes as they streak past,

just one tributary of a giant river of wings,

following them with my mind

to the nearby reedbeds

where they will join, and dance.

Thousands upon thousands coordinated

in breathtaking choreography

until on some secret signal

they descend to the reeds to roost.

Outside my window the river slows to a trickle

For a while, small flocks of stragglers whizz by

just drips and drops as darkness falls.

Sleep tight, little birds.

Mull of Galloway

Savouring the end of summer

among the last blooms of

thrift and sea campion,

the cries of unseen kittiwakes,

clouds of swallows and martins

and the arrow-straight splashing dives of gannets.

Mull of Galloway lighthouse

It’s that time of year when every bit of warm sunshine is savoured. The air is cooler now, the wind is blowing from the north, but out of the wind the sun is still hot. We sat in the sun on the Mull of Galloway, sharing the end of summer with the birds. Soon they will be leaving, the kittiwakes out to sea, the swallows, house martins and gannets heading south for warmer climes. A day to remember, sunshine,warmth and memories to light us through the winter darkness ahead.

Mull of Galloway
Colourful cliffs at the Mull of Galloway

Duddon Estuary

The clouds dispersed to reveal the estuary

domed with blue.

A cold north wind blowing

but in the shelter of a hedge

the sun felt warm, springlike

with birdsong

and the first frogspawn in a ditch.

The rising, full moon high tide paused

at the outer edge of the saltmarshes

where the birds gathered;

curlew, oystercatcher, redshank.

Then the sea quietly,

relentlessly, marched on over the marshes

scattering birds, forming islands of green

that gradually disappeared underwater.

A stream of sea pushed in past our feet

to the railway embankment

signalling the time to leave

this inbetween place

to the sea and sky

and the birds.