7/4/17. Shearwaters return from evening feeding, Skomer.

Back to the same place I recorded their departure the night before. It is still very quiet. Some gulls overhead, but not much to start with. I can’t see anything. But I can begin to hear the Shearwaters returning. Earth sounds as they re-enter their burrows; brush and grass being pushed aside by rapid flutters of wings as they scramble to safety.

The intensity of the gulls increases. It all seems to come in waves, much like last night. I expect the Shearwaters return in largish groups; they seemed to leave last night in the same way.

Some other birds can be heard, but they are quickly drowned out by the waves of gulls.

As light dawns I can see large numbers of gulls swirling about looking for food. The Great Black Backed gulls sit solitarily on rock outcroppings against the growing red glow of the sunrise. Planes fly overhead, their trails picking up the sunrise and all pointing towards London. The overnight arrivals from North America. The planes are very high, and impossible not to hear – but for once the birds almost drown them out completely.

This has been a moving experience. It changes my view of life, of my place in life. In some ways it inspires. But it’s easy to project human perspectives onto animals and see drama and wonder in their experiences. But I expect they don’t see it that way at all. It’s simply what they do every day. They cannot do otherwise.

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