.. goes back all the way to my youth. So it was good to see them back before I head off to Australia. Pink feet are pink-footed geese. They fly into the UK each autumn from points north in small groups that murmur companionably to each other and congregate here in flocks of 10s of thousands. I wait for them. This year it seemed to be going away without having grounded the changing seasons with a skein of geese against a cold morning sky.
So it was good after all that I had allowed the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to cajole me into running a workshop for them at Martin Mere just three days before the Big Trip Down Under. It seemed crazy but if I had stuck to my guns and said no, I would not have seen 500 or so of my favourite and most familiar geese, nor the great view of fieldfares on the haw berries. I would have completely missed two of the most important bits of my English autumn. Now I have had that annual great rush of welcome, I can leave, knowing that the northern seasons are turning fine without me.
And of course the workshop went fine. When I nearly ran out of words there were pumpkins to carve. And under the blessing of pinkfeet, Sir Peter Scott’s vision for wetlands and wildfowl seemed vibrant and thriving.