Birds of Britain
Biggleswade sounds like something or someone from Harry Potter. "All right Ms. Biggleswade? Wot's the rumpus?"
I freely admit I did not have sufficient time for birding while in Britain attending the British Birdwatching Fair. And I'm so upset about this that I'm verging on calling it the British Birdwatching UnFair... ok, not really.
Even so, I managed to squeeze in a few moments here and there gawking at our feathered mates living across the pond. The weather did not make it any easier--it was great weather for ducks. Still, it serves me right for cramming a 10-day trip into five days.
On the final morning in England, my pal Nicholas Hammond took me birding in the fields behind his home in Sandy, Bedfordshire, also known as Sandy Beds. We walked along the Ivel River, hands covering our binocs from the mist and drizzle. And the birds put on a good show.
We saw other species I am sure, but I was just blissing out--not taking field notes.
The one day in London on the front end of the trip got me close to a couple of common city species. These I encountered in the pair of parks that are in the middle of my old neighborhood there, Bloomsbury in the West End of London. I lived there, on Bedford Place, as a university student in 1982–83 and still count that year as one of the best of my life. I've been back a few times and always get a special tingle when I walk through Russell Square Park with its blackbirds and wood pigeons and blue tits (more on this later).
Sorry for the dearth of exciting bird images to adorn this post. I elected to leave the 300mm lens at home due to its weight and the certain knowledge that comes from knowing when to say when. I knew I was not going to be able to take many bid pix on this trip--between the weather and the schedule there was little opportunity. So I got my buzz in other ways: visiting with old friends, making new ones, and just soaking up the vibe from the one place in the world where bird watchers are more numerous than anywhere else.