The race is not always to the swift
I am waiting for my vaccination letter. My two sisters, from
Yorkshire, have already been vaccinated and know the dates of their second jab.
They are older than me, but I cannot help wondering when my letter will come. Separate
areas, even within Shropshire, are moving at varying speeds because of
I have heard a rumour that vaccine deliveries could be diverted,
away from Yorkshire and the North East after their speedy vaccination programme,
to areas which are lagging behind. The vaccine rollout is an extremely complex
and intricate process. We all want equal access, of course, and it is good to
know that a lot of my friends here in Shropshire have already been vaccinated.
There is certainly not equal access for the birds on our
bird table. The bigger and more aggressive they are, it seems, the better chance
they have of getting food. The great spotted woodpecker is the winner because when
it arrives all other birds disappear. Next, there is the starling with quick
movements and sharp beak. But today it is the turn of the fluffed-up collar
doves. It is not that they are pushy, it is that they are big for the bird
table and there is no room for others.
When I was young, collared doves were rare but now they are everywhere.
They are a favourite with their gentle cooing, their unassuming grey colour and
thin black collar. They stare at each other with deep red eyes and have already
paired up ready for breeding.
The robins have also paired up. Look out for two on the bird
table. Normally they chase each other away so, when there are two, you can be
sure that they are mates. They will nest soon.
When I lived in south Shropshire the people there told me
that the birds have their wedding day early next week. It is a lovely thought
that the birds are already in their spring outfits ready for pairing.
I have not bought any new clothes for a whole year. There
seems little point in dressing up when I do not go out. My ‘best’ clothes still
languish in the wardrobe as other priorities have taken over. Mind you, I make
sure that I have a smart jumper on when I have a video call and a colourful
scarf works wonders.
The witch hazel is putting on a good show just now. Their
yellow spidery flowers are spilling onto the twigs. You might not notice the
flowers, as they are so small, but the scent is strong and sweet. I have seen bees
waking early searching for food, amongst snowdrops and witch hazel, in the
Watching the season unfold is a good distraction whilst I am
waiting for my vaccine.
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star on Thursday)