Saturday, 27 March 2010


summer wind
a sparrow re-rights itself
at the peanut cage

Alan Summers

I did this pic to accompany Alan's haiku, for one of the events he's organising in Bath. You can find out more if you follow the link above...

This morning I was sure that I heard a chiffchaff as I wandered around making my first cup of tea. So I took the tea and sat at the open window in the front room.

I heard:

a green woodpecker
wood pigeons
a wren
blue tits
a starling
...and the chiffchaff.

I spotted it a few times, as it flitted from tree to tree; it landed in the plane tree outside the house, the tree that the magpies nested in last year; and gave a burst of song, then came to a branch very close to the window.

I kept perfectly still.

But it decided not to risk it anyway, and bobbed off to the next tree.

At one of my early morning wildlife-related meet-ups at the Downs cafe with Geraldine, Keith and Nick, recently, I met Myles Lucas, who was looking into why birdwatchers watch birds. My explanation was, or would be, something along the lines of 'because they are wild creatures whose space overlaps with ours, and it's interesting to get to know their characters and habits'. There is a lot of wildness going on close by, and it's just as wild as what you see on an African safari (and less likely to eat you too...). And the more you look, the more you see.