I had to go to London, so I planned to write about the way June and the wild world affect even a hectic city full of people too busy to look up or down or about. But I was pretty hectic myself and the two tufties seen from the 209 bus and the lesser black-backed gull passing Ye White Hart were rather slim pickings.
I got an early train back and had time to join Eddie on the marsh for his supper. He kindly fetched me a beer as we set off and we made our way to his favourite seat; his own contribution follows.
It was the kind of evening we imagine that all June evenings are like: warm, still and kind, as if the whole world was heaving a sigh of satisfaction at having got it right for once. It made for a mood of unhurried watchfulness: an invitation to linger. And linger we did as Eddie went through the courses and then sat quiet and still, as he loves to do when in the mood. Contemplativeness: not a gift found in many 16 year olds.
The sweet song of willow warbler came though strong and clear, the first time I had this from the marsh for a few days. Very satisfying, too: still here and, I hoped hard at the task of rearing a quiver-full in the tangled vegetation beyond the clump of sallows.
As I listened I counted all six species of warbler that breed on and/or just beyond the marsh. They sang more or less in turn, as if I was a teacher “taking register” back at my primary school. Willow warbler? Yes, miss! Also chiffchaff, blackcap, sedge warbler, whitethroat and Cetti’s warbler – yes, especially Cetti’s warbler, class clown and show-off — do try to answer in a quiet voice next time.
The marsh is full to bursting and doing its stuff. I love the stolen glimpses of defiant wildness you get in city life – but not as much as I love wildness and wet.
Here’s Eddie’s blog:30 days7