Ground Nesting at Midsummer


Its humid. 
A buttercup path
leads towards hanging clouds.  
Ahead of us,
on a fencepost,
a small brown bird.

Colour blind in poor light
I hallucinate; a homely Robin
amongst cotton grass?

Whatever next!    

He comes purposefully towards us, 
rising close above our heads,
pauses for a moment; 
then climbs, vertically,
wings and heart pumping
a torrent of staccato song
across his fiefdom.

Skylark, of course.

We enter the rock dreaming field
where sandstone, wind, and water,
perform archaic conversations,

where Curlews, in twos and threes,
improvise horizontal music.

melodious fluting whistles
accelerate and merge
into a rhythmic bubbling trill

Often the females migrate in June
Leaving the males to tend the young.

A tapestry of gleaming sound
completes this climax
of muted tones

draws me down
towards a feather
discarded by Numenius arquata
      or perhaps a Short Eared Owl?

on a white ground
       dusted with cinnamon.

Identification gets tricky
in this habitat of similars

Two species with one solution 
to ground nesting in rough pasture.

Birdlike, I settle on a recumbent stone

Suspended in light

the Mineral Queen sleeps.


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