Searching For Sooty

I spent the beautifully sunny morning dealing with admin. As I completed my task the sun disappeared. :(

I decided to go to Longlands hide and try to get a shot of a blue tit that I call Sooty. Its plumage is very dull and muted, it looks like it lives up a chimney. I'm not the only one who has noticed it, I mentioned Sooty in conversation with a birder and he knew what I was talking about. I got a distant shot which I have added to extras with a normal blue tit for comparison. 

While I was in the hide a couple of birders came in hoping to see three white-fronted geese, unusual for the area. One of them spotted the birds with his powerful telescope and pointed them out to me. I hiked to the field and got some shots but couldn't get very close. I togged the Egyptian goose above on the way.

Today's poem is Joy by Hugo Williams. I've had to copy the whole poem as I can't find a link that includes it in its entirety.

Not so much a sting
as a faint burn

not so much a pain
as the memory of pain

the memory of tears
flowing freely down cheeks

in a sort of joy
that there was nothing

worse in the world
than stinging nettle stings

and nothing better
than cool dock leaves.

I like this, it's about blackberrying and reminds me of when we used to do this as a family when I was a child. My parents were always too busy working on the nursery to spend time with my sisters and me. Our uncle would sometimes arrive on an autumn evening and persuade our parents to stop work and we would all go picking wild fruit. The joy of being a child when "there was nothing worse in the world than stinging nettle stings."  

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