I wouldn’t have gone to Oundle just to look for a Black Redstart but since I had a reason for going anyway (getting a Robert Gillmor print (the cover of the 2013 Bird Fair programme in fact) framed) then I did go. And I needed a break.
I’m writing two books at the moment, and I’d had a very good writing week up until yesterday, but things weren’t going so well yesterday for some reason, and I usually find that having a break, is a better response to that situation than plugging away. It’s the same with crosswords, if you get stuck, then put it down, do something else, and come back to it later. That’s my advice.
I wonder whether the break works because, unbeknown to my conscious self, my brain is working away on the problem (writing or crossword) all the time and therefore has the answer sorted out when I feel as though I am turning my mind back to the problem. Or whether it is simply that the brain has a bit of a rest and is in a different state after a break and in that state it picks up the problem again and solves it quite quickly. I wonder whether anyone knows?
Anyway, that was why I went to Oundle, but since a Black Redstart had been reported on St Peter’s Church, half way up the tower (see above), a few days ago, I thought I would look at that too. I don’t want to keep you in suspense – I didn’t see a Black Redstart. But I did stand in the quiet, with occasional Oundle School pupils passing me, in the quiet area by the church and enjoyed the quiet of a few autumn minutes. the church looked lovely in the rather weak sunshine and some of the trees were showing bright autumn colours.
It wasn’t completely quiet because Jackdaws were shouting at each other and the sound of their calls bounced off the ancient stonework.
Peter Scott was at school here in Oundle. As I looked at the church tower, first a Red Kite and then a Cormorant flew past. The Red Kite was elegant and easy in the air, the Cormorant just flapped past. Either would have been a very unexpected sight for the young Scott as he went from class to class in the early 1920s. Now, they are pretty much commonplace.
And the Black Redstart began to colonise the UK as a breeding species when Scott was 13.
But the church, I guess, would have looked very much the same. And the autumn colours would have been just as bright.
I wonder what will fly past the church in another 90 years.