An original way to capture the sudden soaring of a flock of birds.  A few weeks ago, a flock of a few hundred descended on the garden, half strutting about the lawn yanking elastic and reluctant worms out of the ground, the other half congregating in the apple tree, their collective weight shaking a few loose.  Then at an invisible and inaudible signal, they took flight and whooshed up to the uppermost branhces of a neighbour’s birch tree.  That sudden take off can be like a detonation, and the sound of hundreds of beating wings a kind of whirr.

Flights of waterfowl detonated like spring-guns loosing off a whirr of missiles across the water.

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts: On foot to Constantinople: from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (London: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 284

Photo credit: hansbenn at


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest