Monday, January 31, 2011

The Birdman of Cumbria

There are (I think) 90 lakes in the Lake District in England. I think we managed only 87 because on couple of occasions I collapsed with exhaustion and Maalie could not drag me and Mabel’s meat pies and hack his way through the Bracken at the same time.

But trust me – they are there – and I have most of they pictures to prove it. I can also let you know that only one is called ‘Lake’ something. The others – for reasons English – just go by their names – you know what the English are like.

I made a maximum effort over the five days and learned the names of two new birds. One was a Magpie. The other was a Wigeon. I even managed to remember their names and produced them when Maalie asked me. This pleased him immensely. (He is easily pleased when it comes to birds).

He said ‘You will be amazed how much you will improve if you show an interest!’

I have spent some considerable time since then wondering how I can become interested in birds but so far to no avail because no matter how hard I try they all look the bloody same – except some are larger than others.

I did buy an iPhone App for British Birds and this gives photos of males and females and the sounds of bird calls and stuff like that which is great if they land on your arm and stay still for five minutes and chirp and stuff like that but my experience so far is that they are a small black or white speck at a very great distance.

I can also tell you that Mabel – who has a shop in in Askam-in-Furness makes the best meat pies I have ever tasted. Of course they were a bit frosty and crunchy by the time we got to them – but delicious nevertheless.

Maalie is an excellent cook. I was normally too tired to eat by the time we got home from the Lakes and Birds so he had to mash my peas and help me eat before we watched some Bird documentaries on TV. 

He wants me to go ringing with him. This involves getting up before dawn and catching birds, attaching rings to them and letting them go again. It is apparently tedious, painstaking, exhausting work which can go all day and all night. Can’t wait. I think I will do it naked with electrodes attached to my testicles.  


  1. Badger, if only you had mentioned before the final evening that you were nursing broken ribs I would have planned a less energetic programme of activities.

  2. There is an i-phone app that helps you understand British birds? I need to get an i-phone

  3. Maalie: I did not want to cramp your style.

    Glen: I am sure you need ALL you need to know. Your missus will help you with any of the finer points.

  4. Cracking up over your comment about birds landing on your arm, etc. I've often felt the same way! Your humor has only been honed in your time away.