With the greatest respect (as a
lawyer you should know that what follows will be critical...and I think you already
know what I am going to say), the “bluebirds” referred to in Vera
Lynn’s tribute were the airmen who wore blue uniforms as they went out
and sometimes back over the chalk cliffs of Dover in Great Britain’s
defence. Many of them were in the USAF who would have been familiar with the
Eastern or Western Bluebird, perhaps even the Mountain Bluebird of the Rockies,
in the U.S.
And I also take issue with Mark
Cocker’s observation. While I might agree that the rarities are
wind-blown, disoriented etc. their appearance is of importance because it may
herald the introduction of a new species in a geographic area. It only
takes two after all. The effects of time have caused movements in species that
must have had some initial impetus which was not expected. Here in
Australia we have witnessed arrival of species in areas that we say is
influenced by changes in weather patterns. Why would that not be the same in
the Atlantic where the great geographic influence is the Gulf Stream that flows
from N. America to the West Coast of Ireland?
PS: Vera Lynn’s voice used
to bring tears to my parent’s eyes. As a child of the sixties, Joe Cocker
can do that for me...
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Monday, 31 August 2009 7:34 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Vera Lynn
The news this morning that Vera Lynn’s “Greatest
Hits” release has made her – at 92 – the oldest person to have
a disc in the Top Whatever, brought to mind what will surely be an inclusion,
her rendering of ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ from circa 1944. The
point I would have been prompted to make here is the improbability of
‘bluebirds’ appearing over the aforementioned cliffs.
However, I find I am anticipated by Wikipedia, which has already made the same
point, in the terms that ‘there are no bluebirds in Britain;
they are an American species’. What Wikipedia may have overlooked
is the remarkable number of transatlantic passerines that have been recorded in
recent years on British shores. The prospect of bluebirds is something to
bring Bill Oddie and Mark Cocker to the cliff-tops, particularly as this seems
to be a once in a lifetime event when at least 2 bluebirds, quite possibly
more, are going to appear. The prediction that they will appear TOMORROW
makes it even more remarkable. One should, however, temper one’s
excitement by recalling Mr Cocker’s advice that such rarities, although
welcome fodder to the ticker, are disoriented, wind-blown vagrants whose
detection is of little value to science.
found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.13.72/2337 - Release Date: 08/31/09