Saturday, 30 May 2015

Dare to dream (up the Villa!)

This morning I woke up after having a birdwatching dream. I often have dreams filled with birds- sometimes they are bizarrely fanciful, with fields full of hundreds of different species that no matter how hard I try I can't keep them all, and have to pick my favourites from among the throng. They always let me catch them, and I always have to put some back as new and "better" birds are encountered.
Sometimes just one bird is dreamed, and I enter its world- a world that is unfamiliar and yet familiar at the same time; places I know suddenly take on different characteristics and geographical connections that I accept blithely as absolute truth until waking.
This morning I remembered a real place- one that exists, and one that could well hold the birds in the dream. A muddy scrape was alive with five or six Little Gulls and a crowd of Sandwich Terns. This was no exotic scene, no fantastic bird- not even a surreal adventure. Just a normal birding encounter, one that could happen in the conscious world, and one which I chance- it could not possibly....
I picked up my scope and sketch pad and drove down to the boathouse scrape hoping for the kind of occurrence that sensible people might call coincidence, and dreamers might call prescience.
Well, there were some gulls, with dark hoods- but they were Blackheads not Little Gulls, and the only sign of a sandwich was the old wrapper in the vans footwell.
It turns out I am not psychic.
3-2, Benteke scores in the 83rd minute.