Thursday, March 09, 2006

They came in their thousands

Raptor Watch is over for another year, although the count continues at the lighthouse for another couple of days. (There was a surfeit of counters, so I came back a couple of days early - I need to work on Book 2 of the trilogy as my editor wants some minor changes before the MS gets passed to the copy editor.)

The birds could not have been better behaved. They streamed in, to a total of several thousands each day, flew low over the viewing area, circled upwards in full view - I saw people in tears! There is something moving about watching birds at the beginning of such an arduous journey. Something about seeing a few individuals, so exhausted by their sea crossing without the help of thermals, that they have to fly straight into the trees and rest before proceeding. Something about watching others flapping tiredly, beaks agape, legs drooping - then to watch as they catch the first thermals over the land, and start to bank and circle and glide - until the sky is studded with birds, patterning the blue or the cloud like cut-outs of a gigantic mobile.

I'll be back next year. And the next. Can't help myself.

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