Tuesday 4 March 2014


And then this morning, surfacing during Farming Today and managing to stay awake through the rest of the programme (whither Ukrainian grain?) - and then came Tweet of the Day. And it was the one and only Bill Oddie - and it was The Blackbird!
 Happily my window was open, and so it was that a radio blackbird joined in with the blackbird in my garden and those in the gardens beyond as they greeted the morning light - a magical few moments of perfect blackbird polyphony...
 Explaining how blackbirds' territories overlap, Oddie signed off with those beautiful closing lines of Edward Thomas's Adlestrop:

'And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.'

And outside my window, mistier, farther and farther, all the birds of Carshalton, Northeast Surrey and adjacent parts of South London sang on. I really should live in a shire.

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