Swifts In Penllergare Valley Woods

Friday, May 15, 2009 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


Last night I had one of those magic moments where all the worries of the world manage to slip away and you can finally feel free from the trappings of being an adult in the modern day world. These moments occur all to rarely but when they do they manage to transport you back to a simpler age when you had all the time in the world to sit and stare in wonder at the world around you.

Behind my house, as I have mentioned before on this blog, are the Penllergare valley woods. These woods used to form the gardens of the stately home of John Dillwyn Llewelyn. Over the years they have become overgrown and suffered from vandalism, but a team of dedicated individuals is slowly bringing the area back to its former glory. Towards the bottom of the valley is a large lake where last night I found myself privileged to witness a true wildlife spectacle. We were stood at the edge of the lake, watching the sun slowly sinking down behind the trees. As we surveyed our surroundings, a few small black birds popped out above the tree line before quickly disappearing. Then a few moments later they were back and in greater numbers, swooping around the lake feeding on the masses of insects that the warm, damp air had brought out. Slowly but surely the flock moved closer across the water until the air around us was filled with swooping birds, passing by our heads at quite fantastic speeds. The vast majority of these aerial gymnasts were Swallows, feeding up after there arduous journey from Africa. Mixed in though were a couple of Swifts which were frankly even more impressive. Their agility and speed in the air is breathtaking, and to be able to watch these creatures at such close quarters was fantastic. All I could do was stand and watch as they went about their business, truly lost for a few moments in one of the wonders of the natural world.

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