Friday, 31 August 2012


I took the bus to Norwich on Thursday and made a list of the birds I saw on the journey; not very many it turned out.

1. jackdaw
2. woodpigeon
3. starling
4. rook
5. collared dove
6. black-headed gull
In the hedge there are fat pink blooms of Himalayan balsam (which I'm supposed to hate but don't).
Woman in the row behind me: Julie says she's got them invitations ready.
7. swallow
8. pheasant
9. house martin
Man in high visibility jacket gets on the bus.
10. lesser black-backed gull
Rabbit at a field's edge.
Hornbeams crowding round a bus-stop.
Linnets, perhaps, too far to be sure.
11. blackbird
12. feral pigeon
13. blue tit
14. goldfinch
15. mistle thrush
Man in the row behind me: I quite like doing it now and again.
Paramedics jump the lights.
On a billboard: We can help you go further.

A conversation, later on Thursday, between a marsh tit and lovely winsome Suzie, who for the past six years has inspired children to get involved with wildlife, often through wildly creative crafts, but whose last day at Norfolk Wildlife Trust it was:

Marsh tit: Do you have any thread?

Suzie: No, I don't; I lost my thread.

That's what we did on Friday from dawn: watch the sea and little else. Our watching, to be fair, was broken by flurries of Sandwich terns, by shear-winged gannets, the odd fulmar and a handful of brutish bonxies. Quiet though it was, it felt good to be birding beside old friends and to reminisce about the many times we have watched, the sea and other things, together.

Not deadly
Among the constant refrains of teaching children about wildlife is: I saw that on Deadly Sixty. I have nothing at all against the show but it was wonderful tonight, at the end of a bat walk, to hear a young lad tell me: Today I've learned that wildlife doesn't have to be deadly to be cool.

It doesn't, no.

New over a blustery sea today


great skua
Stercorarius skua

2012 Totals

Mammals: 82
Birds: 850
Reptiles: 20
Amphibians: 8
Fish: 11


  1. I really enjoyed this post. My bus journey to work is not nearly as interesting - Peter

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting Peter. I enjoy your blog too.