Bird #1.

A man is behaving oddly in the street!!!

I stare out from the kitchen window. He is in his forties, I’d guess; scruffy in an old jumper, with the frame of one who does not habitually make a beeline for the salad aisle. I watch as he lopes back and forth, ducking and straining his head, occasionally lifting a camera on which is fitted an enormous, trumpet-like lens.

I think no more of it. If portly men want to make an exhibition of themselves in the street then it is not for the state to intervene. My guess is that it is somebody from a newspaper, as H.M. The Queen is visiting the area at present. Life goes on.

The following day, I visit the market with the LTLP. In order to return via the Village Shop, we need to drive directly past the Cottage. This we do, to find two more men lurking outside our house, furtively brandishing ginormous cameras. Their car is parked across the drive.

The LTLP performs a handbrake turn and pulls the car to a halt pointedly.

“I am very sorry to block your way,” explains Man #1, reasonably. “Did you know that you have a rare bird in your garden?”

We have a rare bird in our garden!!! The chap is considerate and anxious to explain. It turns out that due to weather conditions, the type of plants we have etc. etc., there is some sort of rare Gribbledy-Grob or whatever perched in the tree. I look up at the tree. There is indeed a bird up there, which looks like a sparrow but with different bits. I can’t help but feel honoured that it has chosen our garden to sit and do nothing in.

We have a short conversation about the habits of the Gribbledy-Grob. It is terribly interesting. It does not live in Britain, but occasionally it comes to Britain and sits in a tree. I look at it in wonder, before bidding the friendly man a good-day. This little episode may have awakened a strong interest in ornithology in me; I resolve to keep an eye on the feathery little fellow as the days go by.

26 Comments

  1. You must have a rare bird – I googled Gribbledy-Grob and could find no info. Can you share what colour it is, at least? Or has your interest in ornithology already waned…?

  2. Does it eat mice?

    Portly men behaving oddly. Can’t think why birds of that feather should be flocking to your vicinity…

  3. Birds that execute impressive handbrake turns are far more worthy of study.

    Did it ever occur to you that you might be married to a sleeper agent?

  4. Watch it Jonny, I reckon the mice have called for reinforcements.

  5. I think Spazmo is onto something. Are you lining us up for the next book, JonnyB, where your quiet bowls-filled idyll is rocked by the revelation that the LTLP is actually an LTSA (long-term secret agent)…?

  6. VioletSky – it’s sort of bird coloured, with wings and a head? Not sure if that narrows it down? It has a funny bit on its head as well.

    I think we are mouseless, since the Bird arrived. Not sure if this is a coincidence or not. Frankly it doesn’t look that fierce, but you can never be sure with Birds.

  7. This is a disaster! Don’t you realise what will happen?? Bill Oddie will descend on your house! And he won’t be bringing the rest of the Goodies with him! Move now! Take the chickens and mice with you!

  8. # 1? Does this mean there are more birds?

    Are you going to write the sequel to The Birds?

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  9. Rare bird? You may find your garden declared a site of special scientific interest and be required never to trim the hedge, or cut the grass again! What a tragedy that would be.

  10. IT’s obviously spotted the chickens, with their sun-loungers, cocktail tables and spaghetti canapes, and decided this would be a good place for a bird to visit. You’ve brought it on yourself, it’s no good crying “fowl” now!

  11. Got to be a way of making money out of this Jonny – get your entreprenurial hat on.

  12. I’m with Ivan, it has to be connected with the mice.

  13. Not to worry, Nigel – Bill Oddie is no longer an issue

  14. There’s good eating on a Gribbledy-Grob!

  15. Mrs Martin (the bloke from down the road who works in IT)

    I can’t believe that you didn’t let me know about this! I was working at home that day and could have come and joined the twitchers.

    While you could not understand why I might not have followed up my initial interest in bowls, birds (of the feather variety) are always of interest……

  16. Megan gets kudos for the number 1 comment.

  17. It was a Waxwing I bet.

  18. How about a photo? That should fill the time nicely and please your readers. Are you feeding it? For Heaven’s sake don’t give it the wrong seed or the Tweeters will be after your blood!

  19. Honestly I am not going to feed it and encourage it. It is bad enough with the bird and stuff, and now there are mad neighbours wanting to come round to study the thing.

  20. Seriously now – you could charge viewing fees, sell tea and coffee and have a little bookshop in the back of your car offering a range of handy Usborne and Penguin bird guides.

  21. You COULD charge viewing fees

    Twitcher charges £5 fee

  22. There is a way of making money out of it…
    Daily Mail alert

  23. Oops, didn’t read the comment above.

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