Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Today in brief

1)      The first peregrine chick on Norwich Cathedral hatched (and I squandered most of the morning watching on the Hawk and Owl Trust’s superb webcam). Hurrah for the first pair of peregrines to breed in our county city in decades. And well done to all the people involved in encouraging them to return.

2)      I heard from a friend that a project he created, on which I have worked for the past five years, since its inception, has received a new round of funding. I am delighted as it’s one of the most meaningful projects in which I'm involved: good for people and good for wildlife. More news to follow in the summer when we get to work.

3)      The starlings on the roof high-purred in alarm and, though I leaned precariously out of the window and saw nothing, I am sure my hobby is back by the river. This isn’t such good news for the starlings but it is for me. A hobby is perhaps my favourite feathered thing of all (regular readers will realise the momentousness of this claim): grace, pluck and thunder in one slender, sky-cleaving bird. (Later a greenfinch gave a piping two-note alarm call when a kestrel plunged on a vole; but I still think my hobby’s back.)

4)      Starling chicks are sizzling in two chimney pots along the street and in a hole in the roof at the gym. I look forward to the daft dark-dun fledglings emerging very soon.

5)      The boy-blackbirds in my garden had a fight. The one with the BTO bling on his leg won. Can’t spot a mist-net but sure can whoop his neighbour.

6)      I rang my mother with news of the peregrines. As she fumbled with her iPad, trying to find the webcam, she said, ‘They’ll be about three weeks old by the time I get there.’ Full marks for self-knowledge.

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