Next-brother-down has been to stay overnight, en route to a speaking engagement in Cornwall.  He’s always interesting!  So we caught up on all the things you do … and then on some of the things we’ve never talked about before.  I never knew, for example, how lonely he was when he went up to Cambridge, and how bored he got there.  He put it down to the fact that our parents had sent him to boarding school for his sixth-form, and of course there you live with everybody and you just get on with it.  You don’t have to make an effort to socialise because you’re with other people all the time.  Consequently when he got to uni he had to learn new social skills, and it took him a while to work that out.  The second year was better when he lived in a small hostel which had communal spaces where people could meet and chat. 

The next morning we took him for a walk along the seafront, and at the far end I was enchanted to see these delightful little birds all lined up on the sea-wall, for all the world as if they were waiting for a bus.  I think they are called turnstones – but I’m hoping my ornithological friends will know better than me

turnstones in a row

I had a job getting close enough to them to get a reasonable picture:  they fuss and flurry if they think they might be in danger and consequently started scampering along the wall despite my moving with extreme care and slowness … can’t blame them really.


At one stage I lifted the camera over the railings to see if I could capture their line-up that way.  What I discovered is that they almost totally disappeared from view, so well-camouflaged were they against the rocks and sea-wall.

turnstone camouflaged

Ain’t nature clever.



  1. The Turnstones look adorable… and I would definitely want to pick one up and cuddle it too:) and how clever that they are able to disappear like that too!

    Lovely to catch up with your brother and learn more about him than you knew before… funny because I was catching up with my brother last night about stuff too!

    I think your bird pics rather good – you did well in spite of them trying to sidle off in slight alarm….:)xxx


    1. Thank you … my little pink digital camera does its best 😉

      When we get our igloos we must have some turnstones – apparently they are arctic birds so that would be all right … and maybe knit them little jackets too :yes: :))


      1. 🙂 oh yes definitely! 🙂 they look really adorable… and in little knitted jackets… oh that would be so cute! :))And we’d be able to see them better in the snow :> No sidling off… or shuffling…. 🙂


  2. Sprog was never more contented than when sharing communal facilities, when studying. It is not unusual, socialisation and being sociable in certain environments is an individual thing.


  3. They are pretty birds. You did well to get photos of them.
    It’s a shame your brother felt so lonely. Going to Cambridge would have been such a great opportunity. Pity he didn’t enjoy it. It is good that he can confide in you though. He obviously trusts you enough to tell you that. 😀


  4. How gorgeous!!! I love the fact they are all in a row…..I can just imagine them all shuffling as you approached them. Nature is rather wonderful re disguises…so many animals can disappear.
    How sad that your brother felt so lonely….xxx


    1. They are absolutely gorgeous – I always want to pick them up and cuddle them and tell them how adorable they are …

      I’m not sure if my bro was upset … he’s a bit of a loner anyway. It was fascinating tho – I had the opposite problem – I was never on my own and was really thankful to get back to my room and shut the door at night!!!


      1. Yes, I like space too although I enjoy company, just not all the time. I’m away for 4 days next week with a friend for her birthday, there will be 16 of us and I’m already wondering if I’ll get any space…anti-soc that I am…xxx


  5. Excelllent photos….especially like the last one….;)
    :yes: Most interesting – and revealing, sometimes – to ‘catch-up’ with out siblings…;) Hugs! xx


  6. Liked your post Gillyk.

    ps Below is my poem for ‘Happy Women’s Day’
    Hip, hip, hooray and hooray,
    Today is ‘Happy Women’s Day’,
    Let’s greet them with a prayer,
    For they love to care and share,
    Till their larder runs threadbare,
    Women are loving and forgiving,
    They’re also very fond of giving,
    Men would be at sixes and seven,
    But for their able bodied women,
    So when we meet them on the street,
    Let’s all bow down humbly at their feet.


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