Coming or going, leaving or returning, swifts spend the majority of their time in flight. Landing only to nest, the colony of migrating swifts that reside at The Crescent stay from late April until early August at most. For them, home is in flight, and with their distinctive tail feathers and flight pattern, they are hard to miss.
Join Sarah Gibson author of Swifts and Us: The Life of the Bird that Sleeps in the Sky, (Harper Collins, 2021), which includes research into the colony at The Crescent, in conversation with nature writer and poet Mary Montague.
Sarah Gibson has worked in the conservation sector for over 20 years, soaking up knowledge of nature in all its wondrous variety. She was aware that everyone who hears the story of the swift’s life instantly falls in love with these most aerial birds, so she decided to write a book about them and spread her passion for swifts to as many people as possible - so we can all act together to save them.
Mary Montague is a poet and nature writer. She is a biologist by background, with a PhD in ornithology with a love of the natural world informing much of her writing. Her poetry collections are Tribe (Dedalus 2008) and Black Wolf on a White Plain (Summer Palace 2001). She has been published in numerous journals, nationally and internationally, has been widely anthologised, most recently in Queering the Green (Lifeboat Press 2021). Her work has also been translated into French, Italian and Russian. She has received support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and was a 2019 recipient of a Poetry Ireland Tyrone Guthrie Centre Mid-career Bursary. She contributes to The Guardian’s Country Diary.