The Buzz of NZ26

Life can be too predictable.  Imagine this, pick a Town in England that you have never been to and list five shops you expect to be there.  Actually, make it ten and include coffee shops too.  Or hand on heart when was the last time you dipped on a bird.  I don’t mean you did not see it I mean when was the last time you turned up at a twitch with no idea whether the bird had flown or not.  Probably a long time ago and for some of you youngsters dipped might not even be a word, but early Sunday morning Saltburn Beach the day after the last sighting of the Ivory Gull springs to mind. That was a cold day.  We were so brass off we did not even go for the Serin in Redcar.

So with all this predictability I think we should scrap Bank Holidays.  Well some of them.  I like Easter as it wanders about between March and April; jumping out when you least expect it.  As for the summer ones I would replace them with something equally as surprising.  In May I would have only one.  It would be Fledgeling Starling Day.

This year they nearly let me down with a few appearing on Monday.  Only to be followed in the better weather of Tuesday with their noisy buzzing rugby scrum of feeding as their chase their parents around.  Even when they are standing on the food they are waiting to be fed.  As with other things affected by Climate Change the day moves earlier each year and even I remember they used to fledge in June, but the point is it’s not a date fixed by a bureaucrat years in advance.

In August I would have one, possibly two or maybe even no Bank Holidays.  They would focus on Flying Ant Day; the day the colony releases its winged Queens and Kings to pair up and form new colonies. Ants are great weather forecasters, but they can’t tell you exactly what day this is going to happen.  What they can do is monitor the air humidity and barometric pressure.  So that on a warm still day in summer all the colonies in the neighbourhood of their own release as many sexually mature winged insects as they can.  There to take their chance with the circle of gulls and starlings at a great heights on this tasty fast food.

Oh and should I get to put these things into place I will also ban the sale of fireworks to the general public.  Not much to ask for.


2 thoughts on “The Buzz of NZ26

  1. I remember Starling Fledge Day as being 20 May, way back in the early 1980s – it hasn’t changed by more than a day in either direction since then, whatever the weather. I suspect it is day length related, not temperature 🙂


    1. That the problem with anecdotes Michael. Research suggests egg laying in Starlings is linked to food availability and climate change is having an impact on bringing that forward.


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