You couldn’t make it up.
A rare bird, not seen in the UK for 22 years is spotted by a string of experienced birders in the north of Scotland and the twitching community get on the move. And then the bird, a member of a group that one would put near the top of one’s list of adept fliers, is seen to fly into a wind turbine and fall dead to the ground.
That’s the sad story of the 8th UK (?) record of white-throated needletail or needletailed swift.
As John Donne almost said; Any swift’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in swift-kind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee.
And then, unsurprisingly, we got into a debate about the pros and cons of wind energy (see here and this is different and lots of stuff on Twitter at the time, oh yes, and this). Enter from stage left what I imagine to be a slightly bemused Harry Huyton, the RSPB’s climate change man. I know Harry and he’s a top bloke – even if not exactly a top birder. Harry’s take on the whole incident (the RSPB’s take on it) is worth reading.
If I hadn’t spent the last few weeks flying across the Atlantic and driving all over the USA I would say something about carbon, but I don’t really feel in a good position to do that right now…
…although, prompted by all this talk of being swift and carbon, and filled with a certain amount of guilt about all those miles in the USA, I have filled in the form which will switch my electricity and gas supply to Ecotricity and I am glad that the RSPB will get up to (what does that mean?) £60 from Ecotricity as a result. Maybe you should do the same – swiftly?
From another dead Swift;
- Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.
- Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
- There is nothing in this world constant, but inconstancy.
- I love good creditable acquaintance; I love to be the worst of the company.
- …one enemy can do more hurt, than ten friends can do good.
- But nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches, as to conceive how others can be in want.