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 a passage that's been on my mind 
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012 15:05
Posts: 22
The noise began at around midnight, or that was when I woke to it. Birds were falling through the air above me, screaming while they fell, leaving long curved trails of sound as they plunged. I could hear them landing with soft thumps on the ground around me.

Every few seconds one of the plunging birds and one of the turning lighthouse beams would coincide, vertical through lateral, I began to see them, here and there, momentarily outlined in the light—birds, with arrow-wings swept back from their little bomb-bodies, so that even as they disappeared, my eye retained an image of their streaking forms.

Shearwaters. Of course -- they were shearwaters. Migratory, long-travelling, long-lived birds, which nested in burrows, and which waited until the cover of darkness before coming into land. Their name derives from their habit of gliding low over the water, wing-tips skidding the waves and striking droplets from them.

Robert MacFarlane The Wild Places (2007)


28 Nov 2012 11:36
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