Bird impersonator

Neil Armstrong (no, not that Neil Armstrong) reviewing Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe by Gordon Corers in the latest edition of Literary Review:

Among others, we meet Viscount Tredegar, an occultist and friend of Aleister Crowley. He was for a time in charge of the section of the army that supplied MI14(d) with birds but was eventually court-martialled for gossiping about Columba’s work. His defence cited his unhappy childhood and the fact that his mentally ill mother had built herself a large bird’s nest in the living room and sat in it wearing a beak.

Dolphin, fish, bird!

Jen and I were on holiday in Anglesey the week before last. There's a selection of photos here, if you're even vaguely interested (or even if you're not).

Long-term Gruts readers will no doubt recall that, two years ago, fresh back from another holiday in Anglesey, I delighted them with a photograph of a heron being startled by a dolphin. How could Richard possibly top that, I hear you ask.

Oh ye of little faith! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dolphin, fish, bird!

Dolphin, fish, bird!

It's a gift.

Twitch

Short-eared owl

A short-eared owl on Tuesday

I spotted this short-eared owl at Burton Marshes on the Wirral on Tuesday, after I had visited Carolyn bearing pies. It was only my second ever absolutely definite short-eared owl.

I also saw my first ever hen harrier. These are bloody rare. Unfortunately, I spotted it just as I arrived, and my camera was still in my car boot at the time. So you'll just have to take my word for it.

Other photos »