We were pottering off to our antique shop friends at Clola the other day, a route which takes us past a very fine class of oldfashioned village pond. There are generally ducks and things on it, but I was surprised to see the hunched, prehistoric-looking shape of a cormorant — not generally an inland bird. Unsurprisingly, everything else had vanished, though I noticed a couple of poor little coots scuttling away under cover of a hedge as fast as their legs could carry them. Very wisely, I suspect. Your cormorant is a ruthless feeder. I’ve just had an exciting moment with the garden birds. I scattered some seed on the ground, and got the usual flock of chaffinches. Then this rather attractive little brown job appeared, and realised I hadn’t a clue what it was. After some work with the RSPB website, I found it: a twite! I had no idea that there was any such bird. I was particularly pleased since it’s the name of a favourite fictional heroine. Also, they are quite rare, but we are very remote and rural, which helps to account for it.

8 Responses to “Birdfolk”

  1. contributor formerly known as The Tropical Godfather Says:

    If there are cormorants in the vicinity you’d better beware. Bears will follow, sure as eggs is eggs and buns is buns. But fear not! Dido will doubtless inspire a plan of escape!

  2. Jane Says:

    But it’s the wrong season. Should we see cormorants in the Spring, then we will look out for bears.

  3. The Man From Maryport Says:

    Surely the baking of copious supplies of crumb-free buns will enable ecological harmony to be resumed?

  4. Flora Alexander Says:

    You can see twites (lots!) if you take the rather elevated road that goes over the hills from Perth to Braemar.

  5. Jane Says:

    The answer might be one of Scotland’s secret weapons, viz. Black Bun which has approximately the specific gravity of platinum. We should stockpile Hogmanay leftovers against Bear Season.

  6. contributor formerly known as The Tropical Godfather Says:

    In the current balmy weather I really wouldn’t bank on bears hibernating. Even in snowy Finland Moomintroll woke up one winter - and that was without Richard Attenborough poking his camera into Casa Moomin!

  7. Jane Says:

    Re. Flora’s comments: there are many good reasons to use the Glenshee road, including one of Scotland’s best cheese shops at Blairgowrie. Twites may now be added to the list.

  8. Jane Says:

    It’s not the hibernating that are at issue, but the cormorant’s love lives, unlikely to kick off, if we may believe Chaucer (and why not) before February 14th.

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