Late in the Afternoon

Late in the afternoon,
sitting in a shady garden spot,
watching the bird feeders,
it seemed like Heathrow
with all the swooping and gliding
in for landings on the perches.

The little ones,
flittered and swiftly darted
from and to the small protective tree,
before making off to a farther bush
carrying their dinners of
sunflower hearts
to nibble away in peace.

I counted eight different
kinds of tits and finches,
missing the robins, blackbirds,
corvids, woodpeckers, collard doves,
and wood pigeons
who also frequent the feeders
or scrounge the ground beneath.

What struck me most
in the stillness and silence
of the late afternoon
was being able to hear
the beating of their tiny wings,
single birds fluttering,
the soft whoshing and wha-wha,
not so different except in
volume to that of swans
flying overhead or geese.

In the distance,
swooping almost beyond
the range of seeing,
the swifts chittered
swished through the sky,
and a lone buzzard rode
the thermals in lazy arcs
as the evening began
slowly gliding to steal
the late afternoon’s warmth
and herald the ending of another day.

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