I recently introduced the above Blackbird to the blog. Due to some past scrape his left foot is damaged, and he tends to hold his left wing down too. But he moves absolutely fine and is perfectly healthy and defending his territory.
As many of you will know, many birds can get quite used to human presence. In our garden the blackbirds, siskins, redpolls and goldfinches all take a fairly relaxed attitude to our sharing their space. Oddly the robins are quite skittish. The wood pigeons are oblivious, but they tend to be oblivious of most things. But I hadn’t realised how at ease this particular blackbird has become.
The other evening I came home with every intention of topping up the birdfeeders. I could see the blackbird was outside eating some old apple on the lawn, but I knew he wouldn’t be that put-out. Sure enough, I went out, he hopped onto the recycling bins and watched me. As soon as I was up the garden, back he went to the apple. When I came back, despite passing within a couple of feet, he stuck to his evening meal (your five-a-day really do matter).
I went back up with another feeder, and again he sat there quite content. But as I turned back from the feeders, he wasn’t there. I just saw his rear end, as he disappeared into my kitchen!
Now, I’ve had plenty of birds get in the house before, and it’s always a scene of panic. So I knew I was going in to find a blackbird going nuts, flapping and screaming. But I was wrong. He was sat quite calmly on the floor at the far end of the kitchen. As I walked up towards him, he simply hopped back along the kitchen past me, and back out the door. I had more of a sense of a guilty conscience at being caught, than one of panic at being trapped. He was totally at ease.
Anyway, I’m now more careful about shutting the door when I’m outside. I’m against naming wild animals, but if this blackbird keeps making himself at home, I may have no choice (any suggestions?).
A snippet of song
There are lots of songs about Blackbirds. I’ve previously mentioned ‘Blackbird’ by Rachel Unthank and the Winterset. There are also songs by the likes of The Beatles, and the American standard ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’. All these songs are ultimately inspired by the song of the real Blackbird, and as wonderful as they may be pale into insignificance if you are fortunate enough to be serenaded of an evening.
The other evening I managed to catch a blackbird (the one mentioned above) in song. Here is a little 90 second sample:
Firsts for the Year
I had a good lunchtiome stroll round York University lake the other day. Managed to see my first Grey Wagtails, and Treecreepers of the year. Also saw several Great Crested Grebes that have paired up. To top it all off, when I got home I spotted my first Water Vole this year down on the local river.