Sunday 13 February 2011: An Obliging Blackbird
This is a male blackbird.
I'm sure of this because he is one of the few birds whose name I know. I can also probably manage a robin, a sparrow, a magpie, a common or garden seagull and collared dove. Oh and I'm pretty sure of starlings, although I haven't seen many around lately.
As for the likes of waxwings and other exotic foreign birds, I need help.
I'm not sure quite why I am so ignorant of the flora and fauna that have shared this planet with me.
I was once as a teenager interested enough to buy a flower book and press some buttercups and red campion within its covers, but the interest waned in favour of other pursuits, though for the life of me I can't think what they were.
When I'm out cycling with friends, someone will get very excited and point at some black shape with outstretched wings in the sky and say 'Is that a buzzard?' and I will look heavenward and think it could be a crow with funny wings.
There you see, I know a crow when I see one as long as it doesn't have funny wings.
I remember once being on the island of North Ronaldsay in Orkney wearing a Barbour jacket, when a man similarly attired accosted me and asked if I had seen a red kite.
I looked around but couldn't see any kite floating in the air, far less a coloured one, so I said no I hadn't, only to discover many days later that it wasn't a child's toy blown away that he was searching for.
I suspect it was the clothing that made him assume I was a twitcher.
So back to my blip bird. He sat staring at me and moved not an inch even when a noisy car passed us. You can see that he has not cleaned his bill from his wormy breakfast.
I was relieved to find him as the pink glove that D77 said I would find in the mud near the Big Issue seller and would be a quick blip ( this tip a reward for doing his washing, I think) was disappointingly not found.
This is our last evening with the same D77 as he flies to London tomorrow before travelling to the new Cairo on Tuesday
He has been short changed by BA on their flight timings and has to stay overnight in London. One of his favourite blippers has come to his aid and offered him accommodation.He is now a happy chappy.