My alarm wakes me at 6.29 each day and I’m out of the kitchen door having a look round half an hour later.
I am immediately greeted by our Song Thrush. He’s got a fine vantage point looking down on our garden from the top of an Acacia tree and he is singing his heart out, a paean to the joy of being alive. Robert Browning’s poem, “Home-Thoughts from Abroad” eloquently portrays the Song Thrush in action.
“That’s the wise thrush; he sings each
song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could
The first fine careless rapture!”
Leaving the Song Thrush I head for the chicken’s enclosure where we have two Norfolk Greys and two Sussex Legbars. I throw them a bit of grain and then let them out into our patch of water meadow where they can free range.
Next, it’s on to the bird feeders. We have a trough set up on to two posts and a series of feeders under the ornamental pear tree. At this time of year they only get a mix of black sunflower hearts and grain.
For my birthday I was given a special Goldfinch feeder. It’s a vertical tube which is filled with Nyger seed and the feeding slits are so narrow that only a Goldfinch of the grain eating birds can pick out the seed. I set it up so that we could watch it from our kitchen window.
In no time at all a pair of Goldfinches had found it and were feasting famously. What handsome birds they are. No wonder they are called “King Harry”, an allusion to the lavishly dressed Henry VIII. A week later there were six Goldfinches either feasting or waiting their turn at the feeder. It was a heart warming sight making the collective term, “a charm of goldfinches,” particularly apt.
Grey Wagtails nested under one of the tiles on the roof of the garage. Their three youngsters have been gathering food, insects, from the newly cut lawn. Later I saw them behaving like naughty children, hunting in the road, dodging the traffic as it hurtled past.
In the evening, at last light, I go down to our bit of water meadow and watch for the hunting Barn Owl. Wildlife photographer, Andy Thompson let me use this excellent photo. George Meredith in his poem “Love In The Valley.” paints a beautiful image of a flying Barn Owl.
“Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping
Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.”
As I pause at the kitchen door there’s only one sound, pure and melodic, the Song Thrush’s song throbbing in the gloom. His happy, goodnight caroling inspires in me great hope for the future.