Sunday, 13 January 2013

A Throstle Tunes Up!

I suffer from the winter blues from time to time, but yesterday I again heard a sound that showed that spring is not too far away.

I love seeing our winter wildlife - particularly those birds that come here as refugees from the northern winter - and am a big fan of frosty mornings, but winter just doesn’t seem to be winter anymore. Gloomy skies, strong winds and wet weather seem to be the norm and crisp, cold days with snow and frost a rarity. Although, keep your whooly hat and gloves handy, as they are predicting a cold snap this week!

I first heard my promise of spring last week at Gunners Park and yesterday I heard it again while I was walking past our local park. It certainly lifted my spirits and put a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

I wasn’t sure at first if my ears were deceiving me and it wasn’t the finest performance I’ve ever heard by any means, but there was no mistaking the unmistakable piping notes of a Song Thrush warming up its vocal chords.

I stopped to listen for a while, enjoying an ever increasing variety in the song as it tried out different phrases, finished 'tuning up' and picked up the tempo.  It's encouraging to know that spring is on it's way, but it gives me far more hope for the wonderful song thrush. As a kid growing up, I can clearly remember song thrushes in our garden. Not one occasionally, but, two or three daily, and at the end of our garden was an anvil; a largish rock that the thrushes used to break open the shells of snails. To see them doing this wasn't a unique expereince but a regular occurence. I do hope these local songsters, stay and become local breeders!

Song Thrush, Cambridge, 2nd April 2011 © Graham Eliff