Dropping by for a Swift drink

I sat by the "heron priested shore", of the lake this morning, and watched the different drinking techniques used by the  Swifts, House Martins and Swallows. It  reminded me slightly of a childhood trip to Farnborough Airshow.

The Swifts performed a wide loop between each fly past.  Like the Vulcan Bombers - fast but not very manouverable.  Sometimes they hadn't quite got the angles right and would pull out at the last minute. When they were on top of their topgun game they'd deftly skim the water surface - dip their beak in - drink - then off.

A squadron of four Swifts briefly became the Red Arrows, speeding across the sky in tight formation. No 'Opposition Barrel Roll' or 'Champagne Split' to entertain the crowds (i.e me), but still some top skills from the Devil-screamers**.

The Swallows being a lot more agile could "turn on a sixpence" - like a Spitfire. Not quite as fast but still nippy - the House Martins were the Hurricanes of this avian airshow. Thankfully, unlike the man-made version it wasn't at such a deafening volume that my ears were ringing for days afterwards. Nor did my trousers vibrate on each fly past  (as it were).

I continued my walk along 'Wheatear Ridge'  and counted 7 Bee orchid  spikes. Common Centaury was coming into flower and the Golden Melilot, Meadow Vetchling and Tufted Vetch  added to the floral spectacle. There seemed to have been a recent Small Skipper emergence, joining the Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.

Seven Siskins flew rapidly South - an early forerunner of the 'viz mig'* that is such a feature of Autumn mornings.

* Visible Migration

** To use an old folk name for the Swift.  Other such names are   Devil-bird,  Devil-shrieker,  Devil-screw and my favourite Devil's Bitch 

Golden Melilot

Bee orchid
Grey heron
Common Centaury

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