Sunday 7 May 2017

Swifts have returned!

This haiga is a version of a haiku previously published many years ago now in Issue 7 of Shamrock, The Irish Haiku Journal. I'm reposting it to celebrate the return today of the swifts  to Edinburgh from their wintering grounds in Africa. It was lovely to see four of these wonderful birds up in the sky above our rooftops! Hopefully there will be more of them over the coming weeks.

As many readers of this blog will know, swifts are my favourite birds! They are the ultimate bird, as they spend almost all their lives in the sky, even sleeping on the wing! 

Swifts feature in several of my poems, including these:

Endless Skies (ghazal)
Swifts (triolet)

Swifts are struggling in Scotland, to find out more, please visit the Concern for Swifts website

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) want records of swifts across the country (more details here). 

If you want to help survey swifts in Edinburgh, you may be interested in the event advertised here


shadows and clouds said...

snap! my favourite bird too. i love your swift there.
sometimes they get into our house via the attic or down the chimney, we have to let them out of a window, launching them into the air. they really are magical, as is their song (they fly above the river near our house each evening in spring and summer).
looks like you had a lovely holiday in skye too!

Dave King said...

Superb triolet. I did enjoy the other two poems greatly, but the triolet I thought exceptional. I do agree with you about the swifts. It has been a great disappointment that I have not seen one this year.

YowlYY said...

And there was me who thought it was a swallow from your drawing!
I don't think I've ever seen swifts...maybe they live near the water?
Thanks for sharing the poems - so evocative!

d. moll, said...

Sorry about those Swifts. I read a bit of the site. It is almost as if they are semi-domesticated and quite dependent on humans.....

Unknown said...

How beautiful. I'm not sure if I know the difference between a swift and a swallow. It is saddening to think that they are threatened. I didn't know they could sleep on the wing! Amazing.

Jenn Jilks said...

I like your triolet best! I tried it the other day, for the kid's birthday poems, but I failed. I just adapted it. /sigh

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh nadia, having swifts in your house, they are magical aren't they?

Dave, thanks, I don't normally like triolets, but it seemed the form for the subject....

Yowlly - no swallows have longer tails and have other colours on them. Swifts in Edinburgh at least live in the middle of the city.

D.Moll - yes they depend on human made nest sites a lot. Renovated buildings just often don't take into account the needs of swifts (or house sparrows, another bird that is declining for similar reasons here)

Sarala, Jenn, thanks

Anonymous said...

Now I know the difference between swallows and swifts :) Over here in the city, people are renovating their homes/buildings in hopes of enticing swifts to nest there. I haven't seen how it looks, but hear that they set out little holes in the wall as nesting sites and some also play audio recordings of the swifts' call which is supposed to help attract swifts to the building. Their nests are later harvested for sale.

Janice Thomson said...

I too really liked the triolet although I really liked the ghazal too :) We have the white-throated needletail here but they are not common.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I haven't seen one yet! Over a week later than last year now!