Friday, July 10, 2009

Nature notes

Having resolved to turn my back on materialism and reconnect with the soil, I have been strolling contemplatively the lanes hereabouts, spotting birds’n’shi’.

I work in a nice place. Here’s a picture I took on my phone:

If you turn right out of my office and follow Lansdown Lane up its steep course, it turns eventually from a reasonable road into a very narrow road, and then from a very narrow road into an undrivable dirt track before finally spending itself in a field. There is a pleasing symbolism about this steady ascent into rusticity (and conversely, the homeward decline into civilisation). The field at the Lane’s peak is stuck to the side of a valley spread with hedgerows and very noisy sheep. The multiplex cinema on the Bristol ring road is only 10 minutes away. Bath’s Roman remains are 15 minutes in the other direction. But here, nothing but greenery and sheep. Ah, England. England, eh?

Anyway, having already wowed Nige with my accelerating expertise in British wildlife – just the other day I spotted and catalogued a veritable menagerie including: a pair of small dark randy butterflies, a hovering kestrelly-kite sort of bird and a small black tweety bird – I have been continuing to record for posterity the local flora and fauna.

Yesterday’s walk yielded successful identifications of:
- a very small brown bird, shrieking intolerably
- a magpie!
- a robin!
- three largish cows
- two white, very flappy butterflies
- a dog

And, most thrillingly, this:

This, I can only assume, must be the famous ‘shitbird’, of which they speak so often on The Wire.


worm said...

ah, turdus - I believe Nige posted about this bird only a month or so ago. Terrific action shot you got there

Nige said...

Ah Brit - Welcome to my world!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered taking up train-spotting instead?

circus monkey said...

"steady ascent into rusticicity" is it? O.K. That's you for Pseud's Corner. I'll do the paperwork as soon as I can shake these clowns off!

Brit said...

Please do, circus. It has been my life's ambition that the humble words which dance unbidden from my inkless thought-pen should one day waltz through the hallowed halls of Pseud's Corner.

malty said...

Well now Brit, methinks, and talking pure Oddiesque, that is the turdivae dumpicalliope, notable for its south western habitat, commonly known as the greater crested shitehawk.

Gaw said...

That's been photoshopped - plumage should be *either* brown or black, not both. See any fairies?

Sean said...

You would love India, shit everywhere and non of it goes to waste.

Anonymous said...

Get it on the roses quick before someone else helps themselves!


Gadjo Dilo said...

The "small black tweety bird" could be a vagrant Marmora's Warbler (Sylvia Sarda); the one in the road is definitely some kind of thrush (genus: Turdus).