‘There are forty fousand fevvers on a frush!’
That’s what they all say!
In fact, there are only three thousand,
But it was still quite cosy where I lay.
However, on a wintry day like today
I’d much prefer forty thousand if I may!

My sweet sounding song
Can carry on for very long,
And it warms the heart of many a soldier
Whilst I perch pride-of-place on the hangar.

I see more thrushes suddenly appear,
An influx of angels!
They come from the north,
A harmony of bells!

By James McCulloch

Winter Thrushes

Finally! They are here. I have staked out by the window since the first of October, my eyes on the holly tree. Then now, on the 17th of November, 48 days after I started watching for them, a flock of Redwings flew from the left of our garden and landed on the holly tree. They then started to hop and fly around, so I didn’t have a good view, but now as I’m writing this, there are three of them perched on a branch. When they’re sat like this, relatively out in the open, you can admire the surprisingly bold streaks on their breast and the prominent red patch under their wing, hence the name Redwing.They are also surprisingly small, only about three times the size of a Blue Tit, which just happens to be foraging next to one now! They have two white eye stripes which are also quite prominent, below and above the eye that meet on either side of the eye near the beak and near the back of the head. Birds are usually more bold in real life than they are in bird books, I think. It is exactly 16:00 right now, which makes me both happy and sad. Sad because there is not much light to photograph them now because the sun is setting early and happy because they might roost in our garden! We are still expecting a Fieldfare (or a flock) to come and dine in our garden, so fingers crossed they will appear.

Ode to Octopi

By James McCulloch

Oh Octopi I adore you so!
Your tentacles wave in the current’s flow.
You can blend in, look like a rock,
Hide anywhere, inside a sock!
You can jazz yourself up to impress a mate,
Then court her until the day is late.
You hide inside a coral hole,
Then ambush your prey and swallow it whole!
You can be extremely deadly
Or impress me with a colour medley.
Oh, Octopi I adore you so!
I’ll never ever let you go.