Darling Starlings

In past years, the little nooks tucked beneath our eaves have provided a cosy des res for tits with chicks. This year, the tits have been evicted by pairs of starlings. Well, Liam tells me they’re starlings. I wouldn’t know. He’s much better acquainted with birds. And noisy buggers they are too – chirpy, chirpy, cheeping at all hours. We don’t mind really. It’s a little slice of the natural world in our urban jungle. Apparently, the males attract a mate by decorating the nest with flowers then tweeting to flirty birdies as they swoop past in a ‘hey there, gorgeous, come check out what I’ve got’ kinda way. Not so different from some men I know. Once betrothed, she moves in and redecorates. Not so different from some women I know.

Tits with Chicks

Tits with Chicks

The top floor of the old Co-op warehouse provides a bird’s eye view of the low-rise streets beyond. England is famed as a wet-weather country but the east is less damp than the rest and we are blessed with some conversation-stopping God skies. The cloudiness only helps to intensify the divine display. The micro-loft provides the ideal hide to watch birds as they feed and breed, swoop and soar. And this year, we were chuffed to offer a dry roost beneath our eaves for a pair of tits with chicks. Liam shed a little tear when the fledglings flew the nest. Bye-bye, birdies, bye-bye.

Sunset over Norwich

Despite the urban jungle around us, we’re often serenaded by early morning birdsong. Mostly it’s tweety and melodic, gently stirring us from our slumber. But not when the gulls muscle their way in. Norwich’s maritime days as a secure inland port where tasty morsels could be scavenged at the quays may be long gone but no one’s told the thuggish gulls that shriek and squawk at 5am. It’s enough to wake the dead.

 

Through the Round Window

For weeks now, a flock of starlings has been ebbing and flowing in the skies above Norwich. Every evening, at dusk. I took a few snaps from the loft with the Nokia.

Yes, I know. They don’t really capture the magnificence of the mumurating birds (that’s what they do, apparently). You had to be there. So, here’s something someone made earlier.

The Birds

The Birds

Our little quarter of old Norwich is like a retirement village, jam-packed with sheltered housing schemes – from modern red brick to post-industrial grand. We’re surrounded by the old folk of Norfolk, placing us in pole position for the next vacancy. It reminds me of our fright nights in off-season Yalıkavak when we first dipped our toes in Turkish waters. The difference is that round here there are no randy cats or baying dogs to keep us from our slumber.

Our silent nights are a world away from the Saturday night fever that unfolds just a few streets along. Lazy days are regularly disturbed by the street-wise pigeons who coo, poo and screw on the narrow ledges of the buildings around us. The bonking birds cleverly confound the spikes and nets intended to keep them from their lofty urban roosts and happily bestow their blessings on the passers-by below. There’s good luck splattered everywhere. It’s a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds.

We only have one immediate neighbour. We’ve nodded hello in typically British reticent style. She must be very learned and well-read judging by the constant stream of Amazon deliveries. I must butter her up and generate more commission through my website, it could be a nice little earner. As a fellow blogger and author once remarked “Jack, you’re such a tart, on so many levels.” If the cap fits.

You might also like:

Clever Bitch

The Night of the Living Dead

Pink Flamingos on Lake Tuzla

This is being reposted from yesterday as I completely screwed up the scheduling. Duh!

Perking the Pansies

Some areas of the Bodrum Peninsula have miraculously avoided the triumphant march of the little white boxes up hill and down dale. Lake Tuzla provides a precious sanctuary for a host of wildlife, none so regal as the flamingos on their annual migration. Irreplaceable wetlands like this are under constant threat of draining for agriculture and development. When it’s gone, it’s gone. We should think about that.

Thank you to the lovely Yüksel for these superb images which were taken in February 2012.

View original post

Pink Flamingos on Lake Tuzla

Pink Flamingos on Lake Tuzla

Some areas of the Bodrum Peninsula have miraculously avoided the triumphant march of the little white boxes up hill and down dale. Lake Tuzla provides a precious sanctuary for a host of wildlife, none so regal as the flamingos on their annual migration. Irreplaceable wetlands like this are under constant threat of draining for agriculture and development. When it’s gone, it’s gone. We should think about that.

Thank you to the lovely Yüksel for these superb images which were taken in February 2012.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.