I am, like most other journalists of a certain age, an unabashed mathematical dyslexic, so it was quite surprising as I attempted to count and photograph Swifts over Dempsey Towers this evening (during a rare sun-kissed period), to realise a profound mathematical equation was forming in my head.
Basically, let s = swifts, p = Peroni and v = velocity of birds/focus of image.
Now bear with me, 'cos I think I'm onto something here....
1p + 5s = 2v
2p + 5s = 10v
5p + 24s = photograph Woodpigeons instead
Yup, the combination of warm sun, a few cold beers and lots of screaming Swifts made for a fine evening - if you haven't indulged in watching them whizz by, defying hand/eye/camera co-ordination, do it now, before they're gone for another year - and they WILL be off in the next few weeks.
At least 28 from the Ainsdale breeding population bunched up over the house at one point - lovely against the blue, blue sky.
Invited Mrs D to help me count them as they tore across the sky, but demure as ever, she politely declined.
The Swifts disappeared for about ten minutes when the local female Sprawk drifted by, but otherwise the sky was all theirs.
The p/s/v equation was out of the window, the sun was going down and it was time to digiscope bees instead.
Two Red Admirals, 1 Gatekeeper and 3 Large White made up the butterfly contingent.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...