Up On The Roof

Silhouetted Starling on Chimney with sunset I'm on the bed playing a Sudoku app when I hear it. It’s early evening and it’s that delicate moment when the kids have just closed their eyes and I'm praying they make it to deep sleep without interruption. It's reassuringly quiet. That’s when I hear it. A high pitched shrill that pierces my soul and triples my heart rate. I leap off the bed and run up into the loft as fast as I can. Out of the loft window I lean as far as I dare. They're still here. The Swifts. The Swifts are here.

 

Of late, most of my wildlife sightings have been made through these roof windows. Directly below the roof sits my humble but beloved studio. It's where I've been chipping away at the nine thousand plus photos that need editing and am rapidly developing cabin fever. This can be the only rational justification that I'm prepared to risk waking our two ticking time bombs in order to catch my first Swift of the year.

 

In recent weeks our rooftop has revealed regular sightings of Wood and Feral Pigeon, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Starling. The latter perform sporadic RAF-style flybys, some even sporting a spiffing moustache as they rocket past with tufts of nesting material between their beaks. More exciting overhead glimpses include Heron, Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrow Hawk.

 

But the real action to be seen from the roof is happening over at the new Scout Hut building site. Magpies frequently raid the skip, House Sparrows take dust baths while the Crows and Jackdaws boss the metal fencing looking for their next meal ticket. I've even seen a Lapwing investigating the grassy tops of the discarded turf. The crater sized pot holes full of rain water offer popular drinking and bathing spots for all the local avian residents. Naturally the Kites, Kestrel and Sparrow Hawk keep a keen eye

 

You know, sometime our perception is that nature thrives where humans aren't. Yet, from the evidence I see day to day nature seems to gravitate where humans disrupt.