Saturday, 21 February 2009

A Special Morning

My excitement for the weekend has caused me a little discomfort - I'm tired. Had my first bird at 4.44am - yes, that's right (the alarm call of a Blackbird) followed shortly after by a Robin. I woke at 4am and lay there.... could I sleep? No, too excited about what I'm going to see today and when I heard the Blackbird and Robin, I thought to myself "no point in getting up because I can't watch the birds in the dark". Lying there... thinking... it takes a while... "I'll listen then"... and that's what I did. Before 5.15am I was sitting with my cup of tea beneath the stars. Our garden is small, and backs onto a wooded area. Just over the fence is a stream. It was calm and quite mild. Very peaceful, running water of the stream, the bare branches of tall trees lit up by streetlamps and the sound of the dawn chorus emerging. I heard a Carrion Crow and I thought "this is a bit eerie" and all of a sudden something bolted from the tree - I jumped and spilt my tea in my lap! It was a Blackbird. I also heard the Robins (obviously arguing over whose patch this is), Dunnocks, Wren, Magpies, possible Gt Tit and a plane! I'm not too good with bird song so I shall have to start listening to recordings if I'm to improve my birding skills.
By 6.30am the sky was lighting up a little. I had my first Woodpigeon at 6.36am and the silhouettes of Blackbirds in the trees. 6.43am, H Gulls and H Sparrows. 6.50am the Songthrush started serenading and at 7.02am I think I heard a Warbler, but can't be sure.
What a lovely morning I thought... my passion for birding will never leave me.
My watch for the morning and all day in fact goes like this: 4 Carrion Crows, 2 Songthrushes, 4 Woodpigeons, 3 Robins (dualling in mid air like fighter jets), 8 Blackbirds, 3 H Gulls, 6 Chaffinches, 8 H Sparrows, 2 Dunnocks, 3 Magpies, 8 Starlings, 3 Blue Tits, 4 Goldfinches, 2 Gt Tits, 2 Coal Tits, Blackcap (F), 4 LT Tits, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest (yeah I know), 1 Jay, 2 Collared Doves.
2 Pied Wagtails and 2 Jackdaws (at Tesco).
I also have two newbies for my garden list today.
At 7.28am I heard wingbeats and saw something in the corner of my eye... I glanced up and saw the back end of 1 Mute Swan disappearing behind the houses and a full view of a second.
At 8.05am I heard a call that stirred my memory of last weekend at Stiths when the Abbot and I were walking with Simon - a Raven! I looked directly above me and it flew over the tree - fabulous! Later in the day walking the dog I heard and saw another.
I really do love birding!

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