Exciting Bird News!

Admittedly, it’s not actually a very exciting bird, even for a birder, looking as it does rather like a drabber-than normal town pigeon. And due to poor light, streaky window glass and so on, it’s a rubbish photo:

But it’s a new species for the garden: Stock Dove, Columba oenas. I don’t really expect to see them in London, but I’ve noticed them getting a mention from time to time at Regent’s Park Birds, so I was slightly readier for it than I might have been. It’s possible that they pass through the garden occasionally and I usually assume they are normal pigeons; or perhaps they’re spreading into London; or perhaps it’s away from its normal wintering grounds because of the current cold snap. Who knows.

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thoughts on England vs Spain

If Peter Crouch didn’t spend the first half hour of a game treating defenders to his best imitation of a mountaineer trying to swarm up the north face of the Eiger, he might be more likely to get decisions going in his favour later.

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Kieron Dyer have both still got the qualities that made them exciting when you first saw them, but I think we’re going to have to give up on the hope that one them will suddenly turn into Christiano Ronaldo.

I’m really sick of hearing Alan Hansen come out with some version of “Well, obviously they’re better than us at actually using a foot to control a ball, but maybe if we run around fast enough and relentlessly enough, we’ll distract them.” it’s not that I think he’s wrong, I just want it to be England who are, in that weirdly double-edged phrase, a ‘good technical side’. Of course technique isn’t enough on its own, and there are other quailities that go into making a successful sportsman, but there must be some degree of correlation between technical excellence and, you know, winning stuff.

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