A couple of years ago when we went to Canada, I had a conversation with a local Acadian birder. When he knew where we were from he asked if I had seen the White Crowned Sparrow at Cley-next-the-Sea some four or more years earlier.

When the Sparrow, a native of North America, arrived in North Norfolk in January 2008 it stayed for a while in gardens close to the church and lots of people came to see it; after all it was only the fifth time the species had been seen in Britain. Every visitor threw a coin or two in a bucket that was put towards the restoration of the stained glass north window in the church. In commemoration of the tiny avian provider a small panel within the window was given over to an image of the sparrow. It was this story to which the Canadian birder referred. Good acts of generosity have a wide audience.

A week or so ago I found myself on the green in front of the Three Swallows Pub … almost next door to Cley church. I called in and took a photograph or two of the now famed window. Whilst there I also saw the window in the east transect. This much earlier window details St Francis of Assisi surrounded by birds. I could see waders, Egrets, Herons, Owls and Wagtails among others. At his feet stands a Bluethroat; testament perhaps to the areas continued association with rare and migrant birds.

The Window

2014 01 14 Cley Church Window Cley next the Sea Norfolk_Z5A5753

The Original

White Crowned Sparrow IMG_3804

The other window

2014 01 14 Cley Church Window Cley next the Sea Norfolk_Z5A5755

2014 01 14 Cley Church Window Cley next the Sea Norfolk_Z5A5773

2014 01 14 Cley Church Window Cley next the Sea Norfolk_Z5A5777

2014 01 14 Cley Church Window Cley next the Sea Norfolk_Z5A5778

4 Responses to “Remembering”

  1. 1 Malcolm
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Great post. I was tempted by that sparrow. It was just a bit too far for me, what with me not being a dedicated twitcher. Lovely that it’s commemorated in the stained glass window.

  2. 3 Bea
    Feb 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Lovely photos and story. If the Canadian you spoke to was from Nova Scotia then the correct term is Acadian.

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Jan 2014


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