Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 22, 2009

Rara avis

The landscape for this blog at its home of  (54.5 N,-1.0 W) is dominated by nature; hills climb and define the horizon’s outline, as seen above.  A weekend visit to Fenland at (52.4 N, 0.27 E) reveals something quite different; the horizon is uninterrupted except by the works of man, such as Ely Cathedral. This medieval skyscraper to faith soars into the air, and dominates the view all around for miles.

The River Great Ouse lies to the south of the cathedral, and on the river we see Juvenal’s impossibility ‘Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno’.

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Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

It’s likely to be an escaped ornamental bird, and they do not breed in the wild in Britain.  However, another introduced species to Britain, Canadian Geese, most certainly do breed, and their noisy calls can be heard at some distance all across the country, Fenland being no exception.

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Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Finally there is a quieter native bird on the waters, a Greylag Goose.  It glides on the river unperturbed.

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Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

The Great River Ouse winds its way past the city and ‘the Ship of the Fens‘, onwards to its eventual mouth in The Wash.


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