All the way down the M40 yesterday, and all the way back today- hundreds of Red Kites, with feathers flailing, jazzy under-wing markings and forked tails, rode the thermals above the motorway. They reminded me of the constant flow of planes emerging from the clouds at Heathrow airport, one at a time in perfect synchronisation: one after the other. One flew so low over the contraflow that I could see it's feathered cap and cruelly-curved beak almost closely enough to touch.
Every so often, you'd see one hover in the sky and shiver, and know that some small creature would be going to meet it's maker.
It's been a funny year for birds- the blackbird that sat out in the back garden when I was playing one evening, sorta grunting along to the guitar (I had to create a medley because I didn't want him to go away); the goldfinch that arrived at six thirty one morning and tugged away at the coconut fibres in the hanging basket, stealing for its nest. And now I've replaced that, and planted some pansies for the winter, Offsprog one saw a wren doing the very same thing when she was looking out of the bathroom window the other day.
I'll write about Hereford later today; I'm tired because it took a long time to get back and because it's been a tangled week.