I went to see a buzzard today, and to feel how the year has turned and how far I’ve come.
Buzzards often hang around near this small wood – a fairly dense collection of various types of tree, probably planted as a windbreak or screen for the farm behind, because the ground is flat and open just there: exposed enough for a small windfarm to have been sited on the other side. The turbines change direction depending on the wind: today they were mostly facing north-northwest, turning their usual circles, on a brilliantly sunny, briskly breezy morning. There were several dragonflies enjoying the warmth on the path.
Autumn’s colours have begun to take hold – the sunshine made flames of the cherry trees planted on the outside edge, and picked out the turning maples. There were rustles underfoot.
A jay screetched from somewhere in the interior and made me jump. The only other sound was from the turbines nearby, which sound a little like the air-noise you sometimes become aware of just before you hear the engines of a fighter jet racing across the sky – a hiss, the sound of air being compressed and chopped and propelled, I suppose. Some days they also make a slight underlying whine, a bit like a washing-machine quietly churning away before the spin cycle. But today there was just the low hiss, the rhythmic shadow on the field falling and lifting, falling and lifting, turn, turn, turn
and boom! there was the buzzard. It came sailing over the top of the trees and circled overhead, checking out my movements before it wheeled away in search of prey more to its liking. A beautiful, pale-coloured bird, not the largest I’ve seen here, and also not the loudest: just one small plaintive cry – one of my favourite sounds, something that lifts you right out of yourself instantly – before it headed elsewhere. I said hallo to it, and felt the sun’s warmth, and remembered previous walks here, and admired the colours.