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Thursday, 5 May 2011

the swifts are back in town .. the swifts are back in town .. spread the word ..

Yesterday, at work, I was greeted by my colleague with the simple statement "the swifts should be in today!" as she walked into our meeting.

We have been competing for the last .. hmmm .. umpteen years, as to who sees the first swifts (Apus apus) in Southsea. Usually my colleague wins, hearing them screel over her street, at the very least a day before I first pick them up. Living only half a mile further south in the city than I do, it is perplexing as to why there is a 24hr delay to my sightings?

To add further to this discrepancy my colleague always keeps a record of the date when the swifts first appear each summer. From year to year she is able to recall this information. In contrast, whilst I have been known to scribble the date in my "little black book", and have even gone as far as retaining the flurry of texts that we exchange on my mobile phone, I have never been able to recall the actual date of the swifts arrival.

Yesterday, despite my colleagues assertion the swifts still failed to show.

However, this morning, as I walked into work along Campbell Road I heard them ahead, and over. They are here. And then, I see them. Chasing each other through the blue are five summer herald swifts, screeling and scything over the Elm Grove and Victoria Rd North junction. I am joyful. Texting my colleague with the news, I find out that she is watching three swifts chasing down Stafford Street. It is the same cohort, we are watching the same birds at the same time. We call it a tie.

But then. It is not about the competition. It is about the swifts, and they are here. Glorious.

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