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A walk in the meadows next to my home

WEATHER: dull,overcast, cold, drizzling rain. 9C

It was cold, miserable and the rain drizzled down as I made my way out of my ’14-day self-exile ’ prison. I was feeling down, depressed even, the thought of missing a whole spring without birding in the sun, no birding trips for the foreseeable future. I was supposed to be flying out to Marrakech this afternoon but the virus put a stop to that.

As I turned around the corner of our home towards the front car park a Robin burst into song I immediately thought of the Thomas Hardy poem the ‘Darkling Thrush’.

       “So little cause for carolings

      Of such ecstatic sound

      Was written on terrestrial things

      Afar or nigh around”

Hardy, in this poem, asks the question “what makes that bird sing so ecstatically when everything is dour and glum all around, does that creature know of something of which I am unaware?”

Whatever caused that bird to burst into song at that precise moment who cares, it made me feel so much better, uplifted, things are not so bad after all. Who needs foriegn trips to enjoy wildlife, birds do sing in the rain as well as the sunshine.

I went for my usual walk into the meadows and along the stream next to our home and even though it was cold and wet I came back elated. Birds were singing all along the stream, I heard at least 4 Robins, A Blackbird, two Wrens, a Grey Wagtail sang from the roof of a derelict barn. Blue Tits chased one another around, a small group of Long-tailed Tits passed noisily by.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker drummed in the distance, the Green Woodpecker yaffled and the local pair of Common Buzzards delivered their mewing call from high above me. A cock Pheasant burst from the hedgerow, screaming out a disyllabic hoarse call and the Wood Pigeon repeatedly delivered its hollow, hoarse, growling sigh from a nearby tree.

Things aren’t so bad after all, these creatures are happily singing (not all could be called songsters), they have hope for the future, summer is coming not winter.

my 'Darkling Thrush' - it had to be a Robin that Thomas Hardy heard singing in the middle of winter