I regularly make the train journey from King's Lynn in west Norfolk to Sandy in Bedfordshire a journey that takes me across the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Fens and then down through Hertfordshire arable country and finally through some more scruffy Bedfordshire countryside.
Last autumn when these journeys were becoming more frequent I started keeping a bird list, the rules being that the birds on it had to be seen or heard from a station platform or train.
The best bits of the journey are the first and last bits. The section across the Fens between King's Lynn and Cambridge is best of all with herds of wild swans in the winter and regular sightings of Little Egrets, Lapwings and occasional Barn Owls. The big Hertfordshire arable fields are sometimes enlivened by Common Buzzards and the last length of line from Hitchin to Sandy goes past Biggleswade Common and some gravel pits.
Having started my list in the autumn I still need to add many summer visitors. Today I managed to add a couple of Cuckoo's just north of Ely and a Hobby over Letchworth Station platform, so a really good day that took the list to over 40 species.
All that and I cleared my email inbox on my Blackberry!