I am inclined to think that the birds have much in common with Mr B when it comes to the current heatwave. As in, they don’t like it.
I base this somewhat sweeping assumption on the fact that, while out on our monthly Birdy Group ramble this morning, our feathered friends were notable by their non-appearance. Oh, we could hear them alright - but then the heatwave hasn’t exactly
stopped Mr B vocally articulating his pleasures and displeasures. We just didn’t spot too many. Just like Mr B, they are all sensibly staying out of the sun, in the coolest part of the tree / house.
We did come across a slow worm, so happy to be basking in the sunshine that it didn’t move at our approach, simply flicking its tongue to express astonishment that we had dared to cross its path. Bas was also pretty
sure he had seen a stoat - or, possibly, a weasel - so our group leader, the Lovely Linda, will add that to our list of Sightings. That’s the rule, you see - even if only one member of our group spots something, then it still counts. In fact, were it
not for this rule, our morning tally would have been even further diminished but we were able to add the great tits and long tailed tits spotted by Brave Pam who stayed behind having a rest on a convenient stile while the rest of us ventured along the reed
banks in an (unsuccessful) attempt to spot a reed warbler or several.
The butterflies, however, were out in force, leading someone to suggest we rename our
group the Bird and Butterfly Group. But then, what about the slow worm, the cattle, the hairy caterpillar? We shall simply have to continue as we are, being prepared to observe All Living Things in the course of our birding.
We wandered around the local churchyard, admiring the breath-taking view of poppy fields beyond it, and then finished up in The George and Dragon for welcome refreshments. We always like to quiz Scottish
Christine on what she will be discussing at her Science Discussion Group later in the day. We are all full of admiration for her, bearing in mind her very honest admission that most of the time she struggles to understand even the basics of the topics under
discussion. Today, she told us, the subject matter was lasers and she was expecting a practical demonstration. At first I misheard and thought she said “tasers” which would have been, well, pretty shocking.
After such a long, hot, morning walk, you would have thought I wouldn’t have ventured out again into the heat of the day - but I had to go shopping. I was wilting badly on the way home with my
shopping bags when Malcolm, who drives us every Tuesday morning to Mr B’s weekly pampering session, pulled up alongside me in his car and offered me a lift home.
It was only a few hundred yards or so. Hardly worth it, you might say. But then, when somebody offers a helping hand in an Act of Random Kindness, I always think it would be rude to refuse. And it was so very, very hot.
So, like the birds, I took refuge - they hiding in the branches and hedges where we Birdy Group members couldn’t see them and I in the front passenger seat of Malcolm’s air-conditioned
There may be some among you, my readers, who think I should toughen up a bit, lift my face to the hot sun, welcome the warmth on my skin and ensure,
like the slow worm and Bas’s stoat / weasel, that I can see and be seen.
All I can say is - tell that to the birds...