Posts Tagged ‘Bird’

There is a blackbird sitting on my chimney. He has been singing so sweetly all afternoon. He’s also very loud. I recorded this from inside the house where the sound is amplified by the hood over the fire basket, I think. Either that or it’s just a very loud bird.

Click on the arrow to hear him.


black bird sitting on aerial

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Sitting in my kitchen working from home today, I can hear incessant birdcalls. So I thought I’d upload some of the images of birds that I’ve taken in the last couple of years at Spring Cottage. They’re not great pictures or very exciting or unusual birds, but as I keep saying – this is principally a record for me and my family and, if anyone else likes it too, then so much the better.

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

When my parents-in-law first moved to the countryside, I was surprised to see the interest with which they watched the birds in their garden. I couldn’t have found anything less fascinating – I just thought, “Birds, so what?”. Now, I can see my children, who are in their early twenties, thinking the very same thing about me, as I get excited by the birds that nest in the garden or feed on the seed I put out.

pheasant in grassy field

Cock pheasant

old bird book

When I was a very little girl, I was given a bird book, so I must have had an interest in birds (although I also had a great uncle who gave me Ladybird books for Christmas until I was at university, so this doesn’t necessarily follow). I coloured in some of the pages with red felt pen and traced a lot of the images of birds over and over again. I wrote my name inside the front cover alongside little pencil hearts. It’s been well-loved and is now falling to pieces with a very broken spine but, despite having other bird books with lovely photographs, it is still this book that lives permanently in the kitchen and that I go back to when I want to identify a bird. Its drawings are clear and the birds are well described, which is more than you can say for a lot of modern books, although I do really rate the RSPB Bird Identifier website.

Sparrow

Sparrow

And while I’m thinking about my childhood, what bird epitomises a city child’s experience of birdlife better the sparrow? Sadly, these days you rarely see what used to be an everyday little bird, although bright green parakeets are now a common sight across London, frightening away the indigenous species with their loud cries. They annoy me in their huge flocks screeching across the skies, but I do enjoy them in my neighbour’s cherry tree, balancing on one leg while they hold a cherry in the claws of the other foot and take bites. This seems so comical.

Dunnock

Dunnock

Greenfinch

Greenfinch

The picture above is a bit of a cheat as I’ve had to enhance it slightly, as it was taken through my kitchen window and looked a bit murky.

robin on a branch

Robin

My favourite bird though, in town and in the country, remains the robin – for its faithfulness and friendliness. There always seems to be one around and they’re quite happy for me to take endless photographs of them, while they sing their hugely under-appreciated and beautifully varied songs.

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Sometimes, small things stick in the mind and come to encapsulate a feeling, a mood or an atmosphere. My walk to Manor Farm on Sunday morning was just like that. A short walk; 10 minutes along footpaths across fields, leaving fleeting impressions but, as I had my camera with me, I captured some of what I love about being here.

Buzzard in flight

Buzzards are the iconic bird of the Quantocks; we have them on all the signposts that typify the area. On a good clear day, you can see them slowly homing in on their prey and silently swooping down onto their targets. It’s a majestic sight; big, silent birds gliding along, barely flapping their wings, riding the thermals up above.

sheep looking through a fence

These sheep had no lambs but, on Saturday, we saw many that did. Yes, it really is Spring, officially now.

light aircraft in the sky

And then, for me, my personal countryside Madeleine: the distant sound of a small, light aircraft, bringing back memories of warm, early childhood summers in a borrowed garden with my mother and grandmother; of ease, contentment and relaxation, before I was old enough to have cares of my own.

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