AFTER Simon Barnes's article in The Times, today had to be the day to see the roosting rooks, crows and jackdaws for myself.
The first thing that strikes you isn't the birds, it's the people. The prospect of seeing thousands of corvids dancing across a dusky sky is becoming a mini-tourist attraction. Through Lingwood and Strumpshaw I was just about the only car on the road. But get beyond Buckenham and you are suddenly aware of a lot of parked cars in the middle of nowhere. People with big coats and binoculars hove into view from unlikely angles. It's all terribly British, but a polite sign has gone up warning us to steer clear of parking near houses and advising us to avoid a particular footpath.
I won't lay it on about the spectacle itself. So many people have done it better already. But yes birds do fly in from every direction, spectacularly out of the glowing west tonight. And yes this noisy swirling mass of birds waxes and wanes as dozens become hundreds, become thousands. Tonight wasn't a classic according to one lady next to me. It had been better in November. But it's definitely worth going to. Get in before the ice cream vans turn up too,