UK November 07

Had to make a brief visit to England the reasons for which don’t matter – but I think it worth recording that while the place still has some very fine features the airport to London experience is not something to make the foreign visitor feel welcome.


A good 45 hot & sweaty minutes in the line for immigration – and I mean hot as there were several radiant electric heaters blasting away – got things off to a start followed by poor signage, another long line to buy an Underground ticket and a mass of obese commuters once on the train. Three hours from landing to London just is not acceptable.


But after that the fast train to Leeds was, cost of ticket apart, very efficient and comfortable – and some of the countryside with its autumn colours rather splendid in its subdued “non-Canadian” palette.


Very little time for birding and no car to explore in so nothing rare and “good” but got reaquainted with some old friends including many, many exemplars of Pica pica, the Common Magpie. What a really smartly dressed bird that is. They were everywhere. They would look well around the forest edges near Montreal.