One of our ring-readers, Lindsay Hodges, has written the poem below, and I think that you, too, will find it worth circulating here. It describes her recent visit to Lough Foyle, on the north coast, when she came across a late wheatear in the presence of a big flock of recently arrived geese...
On the clear, grey runway of the Lough
Brent Geese are landing –
their ailerons of feathers open as they slow,
flaps of feet prepared for touchdown,
pale bellies bumping water like a skimming stone.
One skein after another draws itself to here
for the eel-grass, for the ambience,
their sound the hum of airport passengers
waiting for their luggage, greeting relatives,
ready for their holidays, homecoming.
Is this what the Wheatear has been waiting for –
the lingerer, the one who should be gone,
flying solo all the way to Africa?
Did she simply want to witness this,
the spectacle of camaraderie, thrill of arrival.
Is she watching Anatidae in the first class lounge,
beak pressed sharp against the glass,
trying to imagine what it’s like to stay for winter,
not travel on her own,
not be the only one.