The 450th Wren, Walkwood


Start a new month list for the last time at the Redditch local patch with the… I nearly said usual suspects again. Oops! I just did. The most usual on my list is wren, although I have a strange way of recording, which probably emphasises the species’ position. I log “heard” birds at most sites but always like to get a visual on the list some time. This means that wren often appears twice for every other species’ once. They’re so vocal, you can’t miss the song but you can frequently not see the source of it.

It also helps that the wren occurs in North America: I’ve spent so much time there. My second placed species, the mallard, shares this distinction and more: it’s worldwide. In third and fourth come the very European robin and blackbird with starling a surprisingly low fifth at a sub-400 tally. Again, my weird logging system means you can’t read too much into it.

A fine, crisp morning and the trees now leafless made the seeing easier – one thankful aspect of winter. Then I came across this…
Fly Tip

The white blob top right is full of glass shelving and pots to add to the detritus. It looks like enough Redditch folk are as mean as the North Scotland landowners. It’s the same attitude, and the same as my earlier observation about the dog-owners in Morton Stanley Park.

Last night’s episode of Life on the BBC pushed my thoughts in the littering direction too. We saw strange creatures from the ocean depths, unnoticed by us so far and unaffected– what am I saying? Aren’t we dumping just as much rubbish into the seas? Who know what we’re wiping out down there.

I left this morning’s crime scene and drifted back to Redditch, whence calls from its mosque wafted by. It inspired me to track down one of Islam’s pillars of zakat, or more specifically sadaqah – giving without expecting a return, i.e. not as a favour if I interpret it correctly. Almost at the other end of the cultural spectrum, didn’t a few episodes of Friends tackle this issue? Certainly Monty Python did with their sketch about the charity collector and the merchant banker. That continues to resonate in these times of fat cat salaries.

All the way from wrens to Monty Python. We’re all connected, you know.

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