Thursday 28 March 2013

A Welcome Song

A sunny morning - though still unseasonally cold - and, as I walked along the path beside the railway track on my way to the station, came a burst of beautiful melodic song from somewhere low down in an ivy-clad pathside poplar. I paused and, as I peered round the tree, I saw, on a bare branch low down, a nondescript small bird of warblerish appearance throwing its head back, opening its beak and singing fit to burst. It looked very like a Garden Warbler - a bird distinguished by its complete lack of distinguishing features - but it can't have been, as it's far too early in the year and Garden Warblers are also famous for  hardly ever being seen, only heard. This lusty songster seemed quite happy to remain in view as I listened. He must have been a Blackcap (I was seeing him from below, so the cap would have been hidden), a warbler that - undeterred by our increasingly grim winters - has in recent decades changed its habits to overwinter here. I well remember the first time I saw one in the garden on a snowy winter's day some 30 years ago and could hardly believe me eyes...
Anyway, this burst of song was a heart-lifting sound on yet another cold morning when it seems that winter will never end and spring will never come. It will, and soon there will be Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers and Whitethroats - and maybe even the odd unseen, undistinguished Garden Warbler.
[You can listen to a singing Blackcap here.]

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