Words for Birds

Well, I was rewarded me for the good press I gave the goldfinch in the previous post.  I was on Islay for a work trip which turned out to be something of a birdfest. The goldfinches twittered and flew about in a young tree just outside the bedroom window where I was staying, flashing red, gold, black and white in the morning sunlight.  Now take ‘twittered’.  That’s just not accurate.  I don’t know whether the collective is a ‘charm’ of goldfinches because of how they look or because of how they sound.  It’s a sort of tinkling twitter – a sparkly sound!

5pm saw us at the Loch Gruinart bird hide with the sun behind us enabling me to identify several pairs of Shovelers with their shiny deep green heads and eponymous bills.  Now there’s where words fail.  ‘Green’ doesn’t begin to describe the colour of that plumage.  Bluer than sea green but not as blue as peacock.  I can see it, but the right word?

I had never had a proper view of a Whooper swan.  What a stunning creature!  Lapwings put on an aerobatic show so close we didn’t need the binoculars.  One of them even divebombed a heron, out of sheer mischief it seemed.  The barnacle geese that overwinter on the island were still there, perhaps because the temperature hasn’t yet risen significantly.  

The weather was kind enough for standing out on deck part of the way back from Port Ellen to Kennacraig so perhaps the geese will set off soon back north.  Too warm for them here.  Each to their own!  

(Tried to upload a photo of the rookery at the bottom of the garden whose residents provided a wake-up call but no luck.  Worked fine for the magnolia.  Any other wordpressers had problems?)



1 Response to “Words for Birds”

  1. 1 chris April 14, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Work, Jim, but not as we know it …. sounds a great trip!

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