Swallows are suddenly everywhere. I started to notice them a couple of weeks ago, when the weather began to settle.
Part of the reason why I like them so much is because they seem to appear during that beautiful part of the early evening when the sun is no longer overhead, but dropping, just reflected in windows. The heat of the day has gone and there is more bustle in the streets. The skies reflect the bustle, suddenly filling with lots of these dark, darting little shapes.
Never saw myself as a twitcher, and I'm not, really. I don't know the first thing about the habits of swallows, what they eat, when they breed or their migration patterns. I'm just pleased they're here. I feel a lift when I hear them, the sound bouncing off buildings and echoing through little squares. There's something mediterrenean about it which seems to fit this setting.
I even like the word for them in Spanish - "golondrina". Four juicy syllables which simultaneously make me think of sweets (another word in Spanish which sounds similar is 'golosina', meaning a chewy sweet) and gondolier.
By 9.30 it's almost dark - I go out onto the balcony and look up but they've all gone.