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Birds Here and Now – or – European Naturalists Get Back to Your Roots

If you are reading this then you might be interested in nature.

Birds are an easy point of contact between the "domestic human" and "wild nature".

It's been light here above my home, more or less – for this is western Scotland, for forty minutes. A uniform grey wetness hangs heavy across the housing schemes. But never fear for here's my first six beautiful bird species, in order of their appearance. Those whom I have recorded in that time, and the number thereof, as spied from our bedroom window.

Carrion Crow – one bedraggled lookout on an aerial opposite
Herring Gull – an abandoned juvenile heading north
Starling – one pioneering south
Lesser Black-backed Gull – two who commence their patrols
Magpie – three, one after the other, having left a roost nearby
Blackbird – a female flying swiftly up the wadi of this scheme.

It's got much more busy since then. Before dawn I made some of my Tibetan bird tsampa. It's a stiff porridge of Supermarket saver's oats and saver's rice folded into a fatty mass that has accrued from yesterday's left-over animal and vegetable oils together with a little boiled, better, basmati rice from last night's "Mexican".

Dollops of the mix are out in the yarden now.

I've watched House Sparrows by the dozen, a pair of Collared Doves and a delightful vulgarisation of Starlings. Maybe they're already waiting for their winter horde of comrades, escaping the cold of Russia, to come join them in the west.

My starlings are so well fed they sing, and sing and sing. Even now. They bring the dead wires all around to life. Rejoicing even in this Atlantic slush-down rain. An unseasonable dampness that repeatedly torments our summers with the reminder that civilisations, they come and they go.

These cold rains of August assure me "ours" is going fast. The globally incorporated civilisation.

On this murky Monday morning, I think of our Scottish huddling homeless, who lie fallen through the grid. Out there within the seemingly solid networks of tar that demand our subservience. Roads which at this time of day are clogged to a standstill by an air-conditioned shiny metal horde. To think. So many million human beings, so heavily indebted, too deeply invested in the dream to escape their unhappy motorcades. They are so far inside the beast that they ignore every exit which might get them off (-of) Lemming Street.

So if you've got this far, what is your bird list this morning?
It's the list where you awoke or wherever you are now. The first six birdies : bam, bam, bam – the ones outside your window? See them and be mindful.

You see my list is my way of reaffirming contact. A daily renewal of belonging.
Half an hour, or maybe less. Occasionally more.
But perhaps you don't have the time?
Are you such a slave to corporate capital?
Please try to make time.

Working back through life, into the infinity of memory, we may find that time, the moment when we were free. Go there. Find it. Remember it. Nourish that.

Get in touch with Nature.
Downsize and Be Free.

And don't forget, you can still allow yourself the freedom to recycle your domestic waste in your own special way.

Tesco Fat Balls Be Damned!

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