Thursday, 5 September 2013
A Bird for all Seasons
This is not the first time I've written about this particular harbinger of a new season. Yes, I know I could have said omen, but I prefer harbinger.
Many birds change their songs as the season advances, but the totally different plaintive notes of the robin are so unlike the chirpy Spring song that they always strike me with a sense of melancholy, a sort of warning of things to come.
Since the Christmas card Winter robin is such a familiar sight we tend to forget that for these little birds it is not such a jolly season,but one where they are going to have to fight for survival.
They are well equipped to fight for their share of whatever is on offer, quarrelsome, argumentative, territorial little souls, but none the less, very small and to us at least, very appealing.
This morning, thick mist covering everything, but the promise of hot sun later, I heard it again. Sorrowful, descending notes all but drowned out by the "football rattle" clack of a massive magpie, yet still discernible
and this time, accompanied by a sighting. One very round very red-breasted bird and one equally round but much smaller and more speckled one with just a hint of 'tomato soup' colour on its breast.
Parent and child then.
My 'oh so poetic' musings were brought to an abrupt halt, by the appearance of three of the local cats, as fine a band of desperados as you ever did see, stalking the little family.
I flung open the window, clapped my hands and suddenly the garden was empty.
Sans cats, sans robins, sans magpie.
My good deed for the day. Do not expect another.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:21:00 am