Photo ©Sébastien Bertru
A hen harrier circles the ploughed field, circles and
circles then swoops, and a flock of pigeons rises in a
compact, silvery glittering flutter, wheeling circling,
compact and glittering. Pigeon panic circles and flutters
away from the field drawn back again by the knowledge
of food, circling, in silver flutters beneath the golden sun.
The harrier, having missed the kill waits circling and
circling, drawing a crow family, sensing a fight, settling
in noisy mob pose in the trees. Pigeons panic a silver
cloud over the poplars, wheeling away and back while
crows wait and harrier watches. Over the ploughed
field the silver circling cloud flutters, sinks and settles
and the harrier is there, a pale, ghost-winged presence.
Crow mob clatters into flight, their ragged wings
clutching the air like hands clawing as they pivot on
nothing, yelling and snapping six black-cloaked
mobsters rattling beak blows and claws, circling,
wheeling, rising up beneath dropping from above,
fearless and aggressive. The hen harrier harried
mercilessly spreads pale wings, black-tipped and floats
away, leaving the silver cloud scattered among the furrows
and the black-cloaked vigilantes masters of the winter air.