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Country diary: the swifts are long gone, and the swallows too

11.09.2020
Příroda
Talsarnau, Gwynedd: It seems these summer birds were barely here at all, driven off by gales before they'd even settled on the wiresAcross the sands of Traeth Bach, rearing above the Aber Iâ peninsula, Yr Wyddfa - the topmost peak of Snowdon - donned its habitual cloud cap. Arctic blasts of air wuthered across my evening perch on sea-wall rocks. A neap tide ran fiercely. Waders left off from feeding along its margins and scudded before the flood to roosts among the myriad of muddy inlets of Traeth Las. Oystercatchers, brilliant orange Pinocchio beaks and pied plumage catching the light, piped away upriver. The ice-polished crown of Ynys Gifftan reflected the sun dipping beneath the spreading cloudof an incoming front. I shivered, packed my rucksack, and turned for home.By the level crossing, I ducked into a thicket that made me think of Hardy's "wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward" (The Voice), and plucked one of its heavy crop of purple fruits, biting through the skin's bloom into bracingly bitter pale green flesh. I'll go down there again soon with a bag and, rather than waiting for the first frost, will put the sloes in the freezer to make a winter favourite, sloe gin. But winter's still months away. Now is the cusp of autumn, the air swarming with insects and the flutter-and-glide of house martins in pursuit of them. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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