Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 08/06/2012

Flowers of Romance*

Flower, originally uploaded by

Wow, that’s a startling bird, in more ways than one. This week (and last week) the UK has paid host to a pair of European Rollers and you’d certainly know if you spotted one of these erm.. colourful birds. Some of you may remember that I posted a picture of a Lilac-breasted Roller, taken at Lake Nakuru, a bird that is the national bird of Kenya and is incredibly colourful itself but seems quite understated when compared to the European version. The iridescent aquamarine plumage present on the Kenyan bird extends to through and up the breast of the European variety which provides quite a stark contrast to the tan coloured back as well as the black wing edges; in fact it’s probably this contrast that makes the bird look quite gaudi. Amazingly the birds, more used to Southern Europe and the Middle East, has taken a liking to the North of England which with the weather the way it’s been recently must be quite a change in temperature for it, let’s hope those highly reflective feathers are managing to fend off the cold.

I am hoping to see more birdlife during my visit to Africa which is now just over a weeks time; I had hoped, prior to my last trip to, see trees full of vultures and other birds of prey and whilst I did see a number of birds on my wish list, any types of birds were far and few between, that is until we reached Lake Nakuru. We’re going to be spending all our time on the Mara this time and we’ll be there around the same time, so it may seem unlikely but from what I can see the tall observation tower which was under repair whilst we were there looks like it’s open, so I should be able to get up to canopy level giving me a better vantage point – as long as I don’t look down!

I’m in my element (the two door variety with the go faster stripes), as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations also coincide with the nostalgic look back (something that went against the movement) at the year (or two) that was Punk Rock. Of course, there some sentimentality about the genre from people who were there,and lots of hindsight (which isn’t always accurate) but it’s a chance to see lots of the tunes of the time – all which seems so tame these days.

* Not a punk song as such but one written by John Lydon after he left the Pistols.


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