Robins and Blackbirds. Blackbirds and Robins. Sometimes Wren. Sometimes Dunnock. Over the years that has been the story of morning birdsong I hear from my desk in breeding season.
Until this year, when a new regular joined the band. Joined and stayed for every morning performance. Goldfinches.
Their song, varying between the strident and forceful to wistfully melodic, has cut through this year. Cutting through over the noise of human activity in the mornings, cutting through over the “badger badger” beat of car stereos. Perhaps because of an increase in numbers – I’m certainly being charmed by occasionally seeing charms of goldfinches in the street – perhaps because I’m listening more closely.
They are elusive creatures, however. I’m hearing them in the morning an awful lot more than I’m seeing them. It seems they may be singing from just out of my view, no matter how I crane my neck to find the source of their tinkling tunes. When I do get to see them, perched in the lime tree just outside the window, it makes my morning.
“They look like little parrots” one neighbour said. They look like great treasures to me. 20 years ago, I was thrilled to see a little charm of goldfinches for the first time, when I flushed them accidentally while walking in the depths of the English countryside. Now they’re in my street. Not only here, but by the evidence of some of their activity it looks like they’re staying…
Be happy in your home, little parrots, great treasures. You’re making me happy by being here.