A golden rule of journalism is ’never volunteer for any assignment.’

So it’s my own fault that when breaking news came in of the sighting of a little bittern in the Japanese Garden I put my hand up.

I am very fond of the Japanese Garden, and who wouldn’t be. It was designed to be delightful and it is.

I suppose it was inevitable that I would be the one to write about this charming, rare and reclusive bird of passage, as just a few days previously I had submitted a piece on bees.

I don’t believe the bee story caused a stir as my own by-line wasn’t used but that of Staff Reporter.

However, put the two together and give me proper recognition and I could be dubbed ’NEWS.MC’s birds and bees correspondent.’

I have wildlife tendencies. When I lived in California my children would say, and not in a kindly way: “Our dad’s a nature nut.”

I love birds. I commune with them. Their intelligence is grossly underestimated.

And so it is very sad indeed for me to see the carnage befalling young birds that in somewhat cooler June weather would have a better than even chance of learning to fly, to catch food, and live independently.

Young swifts are being fried by the sun, not just in Spain where this phenomenon has been documented, but here in Monaco, too.

It is depressing beyond words towards the end of the day to find exhausted young birds on the ground as I have several times in the past two weeks. Too late in the day to be eaten by seagulls but an easy catch for rats.

Global warming is no longer a theoretical construct but a fact of life, here and now.

In the meantime, let’s hope that, improbable as it may sound, Monaco’s Japanese Garden can continue to offer respite for passing little miracles.

RELATED ARTICLE: https://news.mc/2022/06/23/bird-of-passage-seen-for-first-time-in-monaco/

FILE PHOTO: The Japanese Garden Wikipedia