According to the Rare Bird Alert web site, there are 1000 waxwings in Kyle of Lochalsh, an American Buff-Bellied Pipit in County Down, a Lesser Yellowlegs in Lancashire and Long-Billed Dowitchers in Gloucestershire.
I think I should report that there are 15 cocky sparrows on my bird feeder, 6 gaudy goldfinches squabbling over nyjer seed, 3 blackbirds dribbling a piece of apple across the lawn.
Today the frost is harsh and I scatter seed and best-cake crumbs with frivolous abandon.
To wake up my writing brain, I sometimes play the senses game - name at least 5 sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes as quick as I can. But today I struggled with smell. No matter how hard I sniff, it's difficult to catch the scent of things when they're wrapped in ice.
If birds had smells..........a blackbird would smell of damp earth, sparrows would smell of toast, goldfinches would smell of Tutti-fruiti, like Opal Fruits - strawberry, lemon, lime. Chaffinches would smell like just-dug-up potatoes and robins like Christmas tangerines.
'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir
I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.
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