A Relaxing Summer’s Day at Somerset’s County Cricket Ground: Birds and Cricket in Harmony

A relaxing – if rather chilly – summer’s day at Somerset’s county cricket ground by the river in Taunton offers a serene setting to enjoy the game, read, chat, and watch birds.

The day’s avian highlights include the lively antics of pied wagtails, featuring a smart adult and a dusky-coloured youngster skittering across the short grass of the outfield. Towards the end of the day’s play, two young peregrines take to the skies, testing their newly feathered wings while eyeing the row of feral pigeons perched along the pavilion roof.

One group of birds you simply cannot ignore are the gulls. As a spectator fuels himself with tea and a chocolate bar, a beady-eyed herring gull lands on the nearby guard rail, weighing up its chances of snatching a tasty snack. Most of the large and noisy flock are herring gulls, having travelled from the coast or their nests on the buildings of nearby Bridgwater. However, among them are a couple of lesser black-backed gulls. Easily distinguishable from their more familiar cousins by their darker, slate-grey backs and custard-yellow legs, these gulls add a touch of variety to the scene.

Once a rare sight away from the coast, lesser black-backs have become increasingly common inland over the past few decades. Their presence on this breezy summer’s day enriches the experience for both birdwatchers and cricket enthusiasts alike. The interplay of wildlife and sport creates a charming atmosphere at the cricket ground, highlighting the simple pleasures of a day spent outdoors.

As Somerset’s county cricket ground continues to be a hub for both sports and nature, it serves as a reminder of the beauty and diversity of wildlife that can be enjoyed even in the midst of human activity. The appearance of these birds adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the day’s events, making it a memorable experience for all present.