Showing posts from October, 2015

Bouncing Redwings

The first inklings of dawn were etching the sky as I made my way to my vantage point.  Redwings calls were all around – a chorus of  ‘tseeep’. I was hoping for a repeat of Wednesday’s Thrush spectacular I had counted 2,580 Redwings passing over in an hour and a half after sunrise. It was exhilarating standing under the flight path of these migrating birds. Distant pepper specks, speeding towards me morphing into tight overhead flocks of Redwings, then careering into the distance becoming specks again. No sooner had one flock melted into the horizon that another appeared - chasing its tail. Migrating Thrushes I was only able to watch for an hour and  half – almost certainly missing the early and later flocks – I think my count would doubled if I’d been able to watch for longer. Monday had also seen a mini-fall of thrushes on the patch which included 2 splendid male Ring ouzels. Thursday was clearly going to be different, the calls I was hearing were grounded birds t

Homo patchiensis

We are all Homo patchiensis. To explore our surroundings - our patch - taking a close interest in the plants and animals is in our nature. Our hunter-gather ancestors had an intimate understanding of, and connection with, their patch – their survival depended on it.  The change to agriculture, and seeing ourselves as apart from nature - controlling nature - happened only in a recent blink of an evolutionary eye. So, the brains that equipped us for hunting and gathering are the brains we have to this day - we're wired the same way. 10,000 years ago we would have recognised most of the plants that grew in our area – which were poisonous, which were good to eat, which would have fruits later on, which were medicines. We would have been avid bird watchers.  We would have been familiar with the mammals, which were dangerous, which needed a certain technique to hunt. Our Mesolithic brains could store enormous amounts of information about our immediate surroundings – just as our Ch