Monday, 27 September 2010

This week is bird week. Costumes are optional ...

Hello, hello.

I know that most weeks around here I inevitably, at some point, write something about birds, but this week I'm making a dedicated and concerted effort to share bird photos, projects, stories and general avian miscellany with you.

Firstly, in case you didn't spot it already, over the weekend on Copy + Paste we challenged two guest designers to produce a project inspired by my most recent favourtie children's show the CBeebies animated series 3rd & Bird. So firstly you should hop over there to see their lovely work ... then come back to me ...

Ar eyou back? Good, because I've got something to show you, something which if my online research is correct, appears to be a buzzard. The first I've ever seen in 'the wild':Last weekend James and I took a short break in the Scottish borders and spotted this incredible bird while taking a walk around the beautiful grounds of the hotel we stayed in.

Each and every time I see a flock of birds wending their way across the sky, my attention is caught and my imagination fired as I'm currently in constant debate with myself over whether to get a bird silhouette tatoo like the one I wrote about in this post for Copy+Paste earlier this year.

So much so that, upon seeing a group of flying birds I've taken to pointing it out to James by shouting 'Look, my tattoo!' while I trace with my finger the pattern they make agianst the sky.

All of which was the reason we spoted this majestic fellow in the first place. After gazing up for a few seconds at a flock of smaller birds, the buzzard's size and slow, easy, zig-zagging drift through the air set him quite apart from the rest and began a mad scramble for the camera so we could use the zoom to work out who and what he was:For the entire time he graced us with his presence, we stood there watching, with necks bent and faces skyward. And all the while the words of one of my all time favourite poems ran through my head on a loop creating a most fitting soundtrack to the spectacle.

It was this, The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The Windhover
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,--the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

....'my heart in hiding stirred for a bird' ... such a beautiful line ... and indeed mine did.
OK then, that's day one of bird week for you [why do I suddenly feel like Kate Humble now ...?]. If you liked the poem too, I'd love to know.
Otherwise ... this is probably where you now tell me that you get to see buzzards [or similar] every day ... I await your bird spottings with anticipation/envy ...

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