We are so enjoying a beautiful Spring in Calabria. It is the spring you think of in the dead of winter, not a sudden onset of summer (as we had last year) but a real SPRING with lovely days interspersed with rainy days. Some of our snowbird friends were disappointed in the weeks they chose to spend here this month--because we are having spring this spring and not an early summer.
Summer is on the way, though. I can tell because the population of my favorite bird, the Swift is on the rise. This is one of those phenomenon that you actually have to see to enjoy. I tried very hard to capture them for you, but it is not possible. They frustrated my attempts to photograph them in any real defining way, almost as if they were camera-shy. As soon as I put down the camera, they came in droves, screeching, dive-bombing and showing off--looking like fighter pilots on a lark.
Swifts are very unusual birds as I learned by watching them and at Avibirds European Birdguide Online. They spend most of their day in the air, usually mate in the air, and catch insects on the wing. They winter in Africa and breed here in late spring and summer. People often mistake them for swallows but they are much more accomplished flyers. They are a pure delight to watch in action.
After trying so hard and largely failing to catch the spirit of the Swifts, I was grateful for more sedentary creatures to portray: