Monday, 27 August 2007

Global warming?!

On Thursday, I took advantage of a day off to go over to Norfolk for some birdwatching. The skies as I left home were flawless blue, and it was warm and still.
The moment I got past King's Lynn, though, it was like being in a different time zone. Grey clouds stretched into the distance, there was a howling gale blowing, it was cold, and it didn't stop raining all day.
The joy of Norfolk, though, is that all those things don't really matter. The weather did make RSPB Titchwell appear disturbingly like it did when I was last there, in January, but the faces had changed. Autumn migration is just starting to happen in earnest, and there were plenty of waders about. Ruffs, sadly without their spectacular breeding plumage, loads of Avocets and Oystercatchers, the odd Curlew, and a small flock of Golden Plovers. The latter showed an astonishing array of appearances, from one bird still in full breeding plumage, through all the intermediate stages to the rather dull winter look I'm used to seeing at home.
Elsewhere, there was a distant Marsh Harrier and a good-sized flock of Black-tailed Godwits on Cley Marshes, and I spent my usual 20 minutes rummaging through the secondhand poetry volumes in a little shop in Wells. I found Mark Ford's Soft Sift for £2 - I've never read anything by him before, so I'm looking forward to it.


James Midgley said...

The weather was beautiful in Suffolk, and pretty good in Norwich, too -- sounds like you were a bit unlucky.

Never heard of Mark Ford -- the book looks like a rare one, judging by the 'used & new' prices on Amazon (starts at 20 quid).


Matt Merritt said...

I think that might be that I found the wrong link - I posted one to Amazon US. I had a read of it last night and I like it - a bit John Ashbery-ish in parts, but with a British spin on things.
It's a good little shop, though - they have all sorts of remaindered poetry collections, plus some secondhand. It's at the top of that pedestrianised street leading away from the harbour-front.