Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wheatear? Not here..

Today, following the worst rainstorm since Noah forgot to pay his Water Bill, I trolled round the fens in search of the first of the summer Wheatears. I am now familiar with every tuft and tussock, every clod, lump and hillock, not one of which could I turn into a Wheatear. At one point, I met an attractive lady dragging an unwilling dog through the mud, but it was no consolation really. The fens remained as bleak as Gordon Brown's forehead.
The name wheatear is a corruption of white-arse, from its fetching white rump. It's a pretty bird so don't tell your Auntie Mary what its name really means.
The scientific name of the Wheatear is Oenanthe oenanthe, from the Greek oenanthe, duh, a bird mentioned by Aristotle but not otherwise identified. He may have been hot stuff as a natural philosopher, but after today, I bet I know a lot more about clods, lumps and hillocks than he ever did.

No comments: