OK, I should come clean, the red hammer is a herring of the same hue – it was merely added to the title to permit the allusion to the lorry-based tongue-twister.
Over the past few days, whilst cycling across the fields south of Addenbrooke’s, I have both seen and heard the yellowhammer in action. As usual, it is probably the more garish, garrulous guys that I have sensed – with their plaintive song, famously to the pattern of ‘little bit of bread and no cheese” (which would be enough to make me fairly plaintive).
Despite its name, the yellowhammer is not a true hammer – and so unrelated to the claw or ball-pein – but is, in fact, a bunting – and so related to the snow, cirl and reed.
With the upcoming marriage between two alumni of St Andrew’s University and the expected, associated street parties, I do worry for the future of all such relatives of the American sparrow. With such a huge demand for bunting how will the poor yellowhammer (and its ilk) survive? I think we should start a campaign for cruelty-free street decorations. Perhaps a sponsored event in my local city could provide much needed funds for the campaign, Go Punting to Save the Bunting?