Afraid I failed in my photographic duty tonight, I missed some classic moments, purely because I was transfixed by what was happening.
When I walked up to the shop this afternoon I noticed dozens of sparrows buzzing around in the same small area. I thought they were maybe feeding on some seeds which had ripened, and gave it little more thought.
But tonight I stood, stunned, in the garden watching the greatest simultaneous take-off of newly fledged chicks that I have ever seen.
Heathrow airport didn't have a look in for flight movements. It seemed like all the little un's had decided that today was perfect for their first flight.
We stood and watched the last half dozen teetering on the edge of the roof, awaiting clearance from air traffic control, and plucking up courage for their launch into the great unknown.
I was a bit worried that the last male would fail to beat the females, but he didn't let me down. The smallest female was last to take to the air.
They all had the same destination for their first flight, a tree about 50 metres from here, where it seemed that every sparrow from all the local nests had decided to gather for a graduation party. There must have been about 200 of them, and unlike Norwegian humans at a party, they were sober. But, yes, they were rather noisy.
The tree was simply moving with the bustle of small excited birds, but everything is quiet now. After their party they went on their way. We just have the little chirps of the Great Tits now to remind us that summer isn't really over yet.
I'm going to miss those little Sparrows. They were well behaved, never crapped on me, and were a source of amusement every time I walked out the door.
Yun's aa fir enoo.
BACK IN THE ORCHARD
4 days ago