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.
(A bird after my own heart.)
BBC: Cyclone Hudhud causes widespread damage in eastern India
India's east coast has been pounded by a powerful cyclone, Hudhud, with winds of up to 205km/h (127mph).
I take it Hudhud is the Hindi equivalent of Norbert. Either way, it's still a damn stupid name.
(Oh, apparently, hudhud is a local name for a hoopoe. I rest my case.)
True story: My Dad has just informed me that, after he had hit a near-perfect drive down the fairway on Saturday, a rook swooped down and flew off with his golfball.
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!
It's a gift.
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.