Swallows flash through the air with lightning speed, tiny sanderlings skip along the beach. The wind vibrates noisily through the marram grass… nature music, not human.
It is sheltered near the ground as I crouch down, though the wind sweeps through my hair, blowing it all the wrong way. And my nostrils catch the sweet scent of animal dung; sheep, horses, rabbits and others…
A growing chorus of bleating tells me of approaching sheep. I listen to their communications and their contented munching sounds as they come close. I glance up, straight into the eyes of a gawky lamb, and we stare at each other in astonishment before continuing with our tasks.
Farther away, more bleating. Farther still, a lark singing, invisible up in the blue sky. Farther still, a soft golden moon amongst the blue.
Now, the next morning, I realise I must have seen some of the first swallows of the year. I am utterly amazed at their incredible migratory journeys – and how both swallows and sanderlings landed on this North Devon beach in front of me – the swallows recently arrived from Africa, and the sanderlings ( I believe, though I am no naturalist) about to head off for their high Arctic breeding grounds. I hope I will never stop being amazed.
Here’s a good bird info link. The site is well worth exploring: RSPB – Swallows