Blackbird Improvisations

blackbirdThe blackbird in our front garden has made an early start practising his dawn chorus; ‘How d’ya feel?’, a phrase that rises at the end leaving you waiting for the response, which is ‘It’s six-thirty.’

Not the most promising of material but this bird’s going for it anyway;

‘How d’ya feel?
It’s six-thirty.
How d’ya feel?
It’s six-thirty.
How d’ya feel?
How d’ya feel?’

Although it isn’t six-thirty, it’s still only quarter to five! Just to make it more interesting he tries adding a couple of quieter warbling notes in between; ‘Nearly finished’. But he hasn’t.

blackbirdHe tries rephrasing his material, something along the lines of; ‘How feel d’ya?’ or ‘It’s three-sixty.’ Philip Glass has nothing to worry about.

Luckily for us, after five or ten minutes blackbirdhe then flits off to another song post and we’re able to drift back to sleep.

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    1. He can only improve his song! Having attempted to transcribe the phrases I’ll be interested to hear how the phrases develop over the coming weeks. I’m expecting great things. Might even keep my iPad handy and record the finished version of the song.

  1. Starlings are returning to my area. Although they can be pests I really love their complex songs and talent at mimicry. Hope you aren’t awakened early too often! 🙂

    1. Starlings are still in short supply here but since their demise we get finches galore, nuthatch, buzzard and even a barn owl, which we never got when we first moved here.

  2. I have noticed a decline in the numbers of blackbirds in the garden these past couple of years, perhaps something to do with the very large cherry tree coming down, but I have heard them “pinking” when the magpies are about.
    On a different note (could that be a pun?) Just before the 6 o’clock news each morning I listen to Tweet of the Day on Radio 4. This morning it was the turn of the Grasshopper Warbler.
    It is nice to listen to some uplifting bird song, before the “usually” depressing news starts at 6.00.

    1. I’d like to have another opportunity to listen to a grasshopper warbler, especially with my new updated hearing aids. I remember how strikingly mechanical the sound was when I first heard one down by the river in my student days. I was surprised when walking back along the towpath 15 or 20 years ago that I could still pick up the sound from a clump of bushes in a marshy field. Wonder if I’d still manage that?

  3. I just discovered your blog after viewing your video chat with Danny Gregory at Sketchbook Skool. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts and seeing your wonderful sketches. I’m just beginning a sketchbook practice and you have inspired me! Each spring a bluebird nests in a box we have put up in our yard. The male likes to sit in a tree outside our bedroom window and declare he is king of his domain at dawn each morning. He hasn’t started yet, but I will be sure to listen carefully to hear what he is saying!

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