Low flying hazards

By | Category: Travel destinations
swallow "dive bombing" a green

Yes its a terrible picture but swallows fly quickly. This one was low level flying a green and I can’t even remember which hole it was!

Golfers are used to facing problems as they traipse a course in search of a below par score.

They see flocks of seagulls, starlings, blackbirds, the odd squirrel. In the US states of Florida and Georgia, it has been known for crocodiles and snakes to deter an enthusiast from completing a round. I’ve never seen a kangaroo stop play but that’s only because I haven’t been on an Aussie course at dawn or dusk when they are likely to be around but I’m sure it happens.

In Tunisia they have a different problem. Low flying swallows.

On the course I am at today -El Kantaoui where the Tunisian Open is played – they swoop up and down a course hoovering up the morning insects before turning and completing a second run. Like crop dusting planes or farmers ploughing fields, their  precision in methodically enveloping an area seems to leave no room for the insects to flee. But, a few minutes later, the swallows return at about thigh height (mine not theirs) in search of another feast.

Why are they a problem?

Because they can be very distracting. I’m not talking about the distraction faced by a golfer when, out of the corner of their eyes, they seem the swallow and mis-hit.  I am talking about an inability to want to play but to rather just watch the skill of these birds which would put low flying bomber crews  and acrobats to shame.

No, I have changed my mind. Ducking and weaving they are more like fighter planes which can turn on the proverbial sixpence rather than bomber crews. Their browny-white bellies are clearly visible as they execute a fast turnaround to take advantage of a new insect meal they have spotted. Watching them became infectious. I was scanning the skies for the next assault on my concentration. Golf was forgotten.

At three different locations in Tunisia I have seen swallows. Maybe I was in the wrong place: maybe I was in a nature reserve instead of a golf course. And, quite frankly, I’d have preferred it, given my golf.

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