Monday, 25 June 2012

Birding at 100mph

A couple of beers from independant Scottish Breweries, sampled in Glasgow City centre. Barman wearing a kilt was a nice touch I thought.

Monday 25th June 2012
So what do you do on a long train journey? Read a paper, do a crossword or sudoko, sleep, talk or text incessantly on a mobile phone? Last weekend I went up to Glasgow by train. A new experience for me, at least since the age of steam when they had real engines. Unfortunately it rained most of the journey, in fact it rained most of the weekend, so we were deprived the glorious views of the mountains as we headed north through the low cloud.
It was an interesting weekend though, getting into the local Glaswegian culture with visits to my daughters print exhibition, local pubs and gigs with local bands promoting their talents.
With better weather on the return journey I decided to do a list. Birding from a fast moving train is not much fun but its slightly better than doing a crossword puzzle. I ended up seeing a meagre 28 species during the 4 hour journey from Glasgow to Birmingham. The most interesting sight was probably 100 or so Sand Martins flying around a sandy river bank somewhere near Carlisle. The commonest species was Lesser black backed gulls which like the Corvids were seen throughout the journey. It wasnt until Stafford that I saw my first House Sparrow but generally small birds were impossible to see unless they popped up at a station or before the train picked up speed.

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