By the end of 2020, the young birds were for all intents and purposes self-sufficient.
We hadn’t seen either of the adults for at least two weeks, and the young were now skilled at finding their own food. Hunting on the ground for insects, raiding the nearby orchard for tasty morsels on the fruit trees, or helping themselves to the young recently-fledged Fairy Martins.
And then all too soon so it seems, the trees became quiet. The loud calls of success with each catch was stilled, and they were on their way from home into the wide world around.
An end to a fascinating few weeks of learning from the birds just that little more about the lives of Hobbys.
As Mr An Onymous said to me today, on a slightly different subject, “It is one of the great mysteries of bird photography that you never get to repeat an event. Once the birds have moved on, you’ll have plenty of shots, and memories, but it most unlikely that you’ll ever again be able to replicate that season.”
Perhaps one of his many (un)proved theories, but I did get the drift.
So, we come, as Bob Seger sings, to “Turn the Page”.
And there is the back cover of the Field Notes. The close of the book.