Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Honking Afternoon


Today's manoeuvres saw me driving through Ballykelly in the direction of Londonderry. Even with the noise of the traffic I could hear the plaintiff honking of swans calling to their brethren in the skies over Lough Foyle. To my right, in the fields immediately below the road, there were several hundred mute swans. I pulled over to have a closer look. There were obviously rich pickings in these stubble fields.

The birds were grazing the ground with satisfied and noisy intent. Every so often a few more squadrons of their kin made rather untidy landings, eager to join the feast. Whilst food was clearly the reason for their presence they all seemed to have an equal degree of wariness of the road. Surveying the fields occupied by the swans it was as if their was an invisible electric fence some twenty yards into the fields. They fed up to this line but did not cross it. It was quite strange to see.


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