Saturday, 28 June 2014

RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Volunteering for the Birds




Avocet, image symbol of RSPB, and sifting sludge at Titchwell Marsh.  Not really posing for cameras; need to feed almost all the time, or will fade to grey and become a smudge.  My reflection follows me, back to front, up to down, blurry but fine, to make company for now.  




Gently, new ringed sedge warbler prepares to leave the hands of Volunteer Emily....







While tiny blue tit poses in Warden Paul Eele's care, for admirers and the press....






And elsewhere a Hawk Moth eyes the Avocet of the rspb....





And Barn Owl, tyto alba, perched to digest various creatures gobbled down, careless of their names or tastes. One might have been vole, another mouse, another small other bird, another snake.  I do not care; I have young to feed; if I do not digest and regurgitate my littles will squawk themselves into perpetual night.




My friend, my mate, quartering the fields for warm bloodlump foodthings.  So quiet and light-feathered that most times they hear not our stoop, but fail we occasionally dammit we do.....




Watchit!  Hand is ten ton times my squishable frame! I the unshaven, young beard-will-grow tit, beaky and eye-dark, lovely in my freshness, but helpless in trust of ringman.....  I ready to ping pink through the reeds, the bittern booming radar not.....




Family shot.  Grebes with great crests and littles on the back, shining contra-luce but discernible still. Play slide and peck with chicklets pedaloing from back to water and so annoying not yet grown up but fun!




What are we going to do?  Jungle Book? Grey Heron I but today I vulture like, dead tree spikes against the sky and I part of picture, perched and grey and stiff and dead like the lightning flood storm dead tree. Whiff of Belsen, trawler midden of bird fish beauty.  Those burning ashes.





Barry Hines. Sheffield bars, and Kessy films with boys and footie and falco tinnunculus the unsung. Here I hover, Windhover, instress, inscape, perched on air about to decide, or descend, 


this morning morning’s minion.....silion shine


and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, 

Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion

(Gerard Manley Hopkins)







Where the bare bones of a sunken ship (SS Vina) reflect the brilliant sheen of milvus milvus (family Accipitridae) gliding and swooping to hold the man person back from the vasty tidal muds, where the waters swirl back in no times at all, predating fools who play the shallows.....





While low among the grasses, the bindweed and the reeds, moulting marsh harrier rabbit the young to fledge most soon, the nest to leave, to fly to soar, to pass their preys across the airs to their young mates to make the time to be the parents to chain the food to life ongoing.....  Circus Aeruginosus, what goes around, rusts around.....




While redshank poses in shimmering display atop the heath, the shine of evening sparkling smart looking seaward hopeful.....




As hunched and hurtful but unharmed, new ringed reed warbler glazed eyed would perch upon a finger long toed and delicate, few grammed complex cream coffee brown and frothy striped....


A little slender bird of reddish brown
With frequent haste pops in and out the reeds....
Ah happy songster man can seldom share
A spot as hidden from the haunts of care

(John Clare)




Kiss kiss nudging mother dozing, seal cub fat and sand, eyes dozed in quiet calm, oh still small voice, the sun is warm just now.....  The Brancaster Outlet creek just swimming in my eye....





Blithe spirit from Vaughan to dusk the outreach outstretch trill beguiles, my staring lark ascent accents the slipping dusk, lauding the sun under my wing, eye bright.....


Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

(Percy Bysshe Shelley)




And war time tanks sink sandwards spent, once targets for their friendly fires so long now past.




The Royal West Norfolk Golf Clubhouse, at low tide, par 71 and rising....  long time home of Ray Kimber, diarist of the marshes, teller of Titchwell Tales....




RSPB Titchwell, the contrast high with tender wiffles on the marsh waters, scrapes and mudflats, wormed for instinctive probes.





And so so small, young wren so well and fine and strong and head held high who is this finger fool who traps me net and ring and fixes me now for the glass eye snap?  Troglodytes troglodytes, Grazioso uccello dalla forma rotonda e paffuta, lo Scricciolo, con i suoi 10 centimetri di lunghezza, è il più piccolo della famiglia dei Troglodytidae. Dorso bruno con bordi neri e ventre più chiaro, ha una piccola coda bruno-rossiccia che tiene spesso sollevata e che gli serve per bilanciare il petto, per contro molto basso.


Agile, dinamico e scattante, si muove con destrezza accorrendo in ogni luogo, o verso ogni oggetto, che catturi la sua attenzione. Ama muoversi sul terreno, ispezionando tutto ciò che lo colpisce. La curiosità è infatti una prerogativa fondamentale di questo piccolo passeriforme, che vola di cespuglio in cespuglio e saltella sul terreno con grande abilità, tanto da assomigliare a un piccolo mammifero.....



Which is to say, I am am what I am, gracious bird, the Scricciolo.... agile and dynamic, dextrously skipping round everything and anything which catches my eye, checking out every detail of the ground, so much so that you could take me for a tiny mammal.....



Oystercatcher chick

And do I care?






Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here 

Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion 10 

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier....

(Gerard Manley Hopkins)



Now in black and white the sky boils bright, advancing eve with shafts of rain; samphire, so good.  The answer is yes.....




These pictures were all taken at or near RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve, where I recently spent a week as a residential volunteer, an experience I most thoroughly recommend......




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