Claxton, Norfolk Lined up on the telephone wires, they stretch, preen and snooze, riding the tide swell of air
The view from my office includes a junction box where five telephone wires converge at the top of a pole. For several years, it has been a favourite gathering place for the season’s young swallows and they wreathe this banal technology in the joyous rhythms of their movements and sounds.
The immatures are separable by pale fringes to their wing feathers, but also by the downturned yellow gape-lines at the corners of their mouths, which give them a wonderfully comic clown-like glumness. It is as if all the swirl of these late-August days – the balletic fly-snatching, the sun-blessed leisure, the quiet feather care as they sit amid a pool of the adult swallows’ desultory song – were a source of strange ennui.