Bath-time Birding

Arriving home after a long train journey from Tynemouth, scattered with nut-flakes and dusted with sugar from the best-ever almond croissant supplied by Pink Lane Bakery, what better way to clean up and relax than in a hot bath? Our bathroom window has the best view from the house, northwards towards Icklesham, across farmland and woods, so one of the first things we did upon purchasing the property many years ago was to replace the inexplicable ribbed glass with clear.

You can’t see the land when you’re lying in the bath but you can get additionally immersed in the cloudscape, especially when northerly winds blow the clouds towards you in from the sea, where they start as mighty architectonic form but soon stretch, curl, lean, roll, collapse and disintegrate as they rise over the warmer land, often vanishing altogether. Today, they were less distinct: grey and scumbled like a Dutch painting from the Golden Age, maybe Cuyp.

Looking upwards at those clouds, I usually see the local hirundines skidding about, maybe some gulls sailing over and perhaps the odd Jackdaw or Woodpigeon perched on the conical top of a neighbour’s threadbare Thuja, which just about makes it into the window’s lower right hand corner. But that’s it – until today, when I noticed lots of little birds flitting out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

They looked like warblers so, for the first time I called for binoculars, which weren’t so great looking at an angle through slightly steamed-up double glazing, and soon attracting their own condensation but in the meantime allowed me to identify – yes- Chiffchaffs but also Blue & Long-tailed Tits, a Robin and…a Willow Warbler!! Other birds not requiring magnification were Collared Dove, House Martins, Jackdaws, Swallows, Starlings & Woodpigeon.

I feel it would be a dangerous move, however, to start a Bath Life-list.

BT, CC,, CD, HM, JD, LT, R, SG, SL, WP, WW……..


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