‘That night, on the seawall at Dengie, I thought about migration: the strong seasonal compulsions that draw creatures between regions, even from one hemisphere to another. More than two million migrating birds used the soft shores of Britain and Ireland as resting points each autumn and winter…I remembered an eerie German soldiers’ song, composed in the trenches in 1917, which spoke of how:
‘The Wild Geese rush through the night
With shrill cries to the North.
Beware, beware this dangerous flight
For Death is all around us’.
(from ‘The Wild Places’)