Tag Archives: Quiscalus quiscula

A few quick thoughts on arrival in Washington DC

I’m making my first visit to Washington DC, and to the United States of America.

  • It’s 10.15pm here as I start writing; 3.15am back home. I’ve been up for 22 hours.
  • America is big. We were flying over it for longer than I’ve flown over any other country, and still only skimmed the tiniest North-Eastern corner.
  • Americans are more welcoming than I’d been led to expect, including the immigration and customs guys. I was determined to be deadpan, but they cracked jokes with me.
  • The first conversational thing anyone here said to me, apart from the above, or when answering my request for directions or selling me something, was “I love your accent”. No word of a lie.
  • The first bird I saw was, I’m sure, a , Quiscalus quiscula, (a lifer). The second was a feral House Sparrow, whose ancestors were imported… from England.
  • The second thing a local said to me was “My step dads’s from Birmingham, he’s a Villa fan”.
  • It’s hot — mid-30s at 10pm. This is hotter than anywhere I’ve ever been, in my life. Thank goodness for air conditioning.
  • Any Brit here on 4th July can expect to be teased about losing the colony. And our tea being sent for a swim.

I’m off to the Smithsonian National Zoo tomorrow; not least to talk with their Director of Exhibits about QRpedia. And to watch the Night Herons being fed.