Roy Ernest Ballard
North Norfolk Coast - Poem by Roy Ernest Ballard
The birds fly in and we are all bewitched
by fleeting feathers, dazzling or dull;
by bluethroat, bunting, bustard we are twitched,
by grosbeak, golden goose and glaucous gull.
‘County folk' (but Kensington and Chelsea) :
four-wheel drive, binoculars and Barbours;
common, shoreline, Blakeney to Selsey;
congregate weekends at coast and harbours.
Rare visitors among the local flock:
a breeding pair of Japanese. The hen
is inconspicuous but on the cock
a camera which cost him many yen.
Among a kilted claque of Highland Scots
a leathered Tyrolean has been seen,
a curl-toed Grecian (white rump and red spots) ,
sarong clad waders and a Pearly Queen.
Such birds of passage thrill us all to bits:
the Mussulman, the baggy-trousered Turk,
black-feathered orthodox (or bearded) tits,
the pied gum-chewer (lesser Yank or quirk) .
Instinctive urges that they must obey
impel them to our bare, sand-blasted strands,
the varied vagabonds from far away,
the twitching anoraks from Metro-lands.
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