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Weatherwatch: the 'halcyon days' of December hark again to the kingfisher

This shy little fowl is linked to many weird beliefs in regards to the climate

The ancients referred to as them the “halcyon days” – a interval of fantastic, settled climate, lasting roughly seven days, which started someday within the first half of December. Throughout this time, it was mentioned that the kingfisher (often known as the halcyon) would lay its eggs on the floor of the ocean.

The phrase, and the idea behind it, originated in historical Greece, however through the Renaissance was popularised by a number of writers, together with the poet Michael Drayton, who wrote of “the halcyon, whom the ocean obeys…” and Shakespeare, the place the halcyon options in a speech by Henry VI.

Associated: Birdwatch: Kingfisher

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