Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Song Remains the Same

I've just returned from a half hour walk across the fields here in Stalbridge. And do you know what, even though I didn't see anything of note, at the end of a day it was wonderful just to stop and listen to the evening chorus. From the house one can walk across the road, down the bridleway, across a few fields and then back up the Trailway (a remnant from the Somerset and Dorset railway).

Countryside here isn't that spectacular, mixed farmland, with old hedgerow trees, but I like it, as did one Thomas Hardy, who called this area the Vale of the Little Dairies. Maybe the 9 Pied wagtails I saw were pretending to be Fresian's. Sadly though no Cuckoo yet.

For me listening to Blackbirds, Robins, Chaffinches Great and Blue Tits, Chiffchaffs and of course the much neglected House Sparrow as the light fades in the west is one of life's great pleasures. I also watched a House Sparrow pair for five minutes as the male did his best to woe the lady of his choice. I'm glad to report he will sleep a happy man tonight.

As long as I can remember I've sat in the garden as dusk gathers, cup of tea in hand and just empty the mind of the day's events while listening to male Blackbirds proclaiming their spot around me. Many say Nightingales are the top vocalist, but a Blackbird in the evening can gladden any weary soul. I was so pleased Kate Bush's album Aerial of 2005 included Blackbird songs. If you've not heard it and partial to a bit of Blackbird melody, check it out.

Actually this reminds me, I've not noticed any bats yet this year over the garden in the evening. Finally, on the migration front, reports of 7 Bee-Eaters heading north from Exmoor area today. Keep an eye out.


  1. Nothing beats a blackbird in my book, with a robin comming a close second.
    As for bats, yes there here but numbers are well down. I blame the tarting up of the old buildings in the area and the lack of animals in the fields.

  2. You said it all beautifully. I felt as if I were there.

  3. Thanks ST, luckily we still have many bats here in the SW. In the next village there's a tall hedge each side of a lane with a single streetlight. Many an evening has been spent under that light, Pipistrell, Nocturne and someone also said Horseshoe, but without a detector, not confirmed.

    Thanks OC, this is why I'm interested in paganism, connection with nature. BTW do you get blackbirds in Newfoundland?