Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Birds – my feathered friends ...


Birds of a feather flock together as Shakespeare put it, in Timon of Athens:

“I am not of that feather to shake it off
My friend, when he most need me.”


Certainly since the heaviest and most widespread snows starting in November, so early for us here in England (last time it was 1993, and before that the deepest snow was in 1965) – I decided I had to get out and feed the birds, thaw the bird baths ... since then .. they quickly adapted to an ‘easy way of life’ for any creature residing in the big freeze.

The Magpie by Monet, 1869

I hear lovely song birds – the blackbirds and the robins – but I also have my flocks of ‘thugs’ .. the pigeons, the jackdaws, a pair of magpies (on occasions two pairs) and recently two enormous rooks – compared to the other birds .. they are huge!


The Rooks Have Returned (1871) by the Russian painter Alexei Savrasov, near Ipatieve Monastery in Kostroma: the arrival of the rooks is an early portent of the coming spring.

Leylandii foliage



It doesn’t take them long to learn ... and they wait for me to spread my largesse on the lawns and into the borders ... then they all swoop. The squirrels are funny ... they totter around, but hop, skip and jump too ... let alone jumping into the Leylandii foliage ... which spring-releases its treasures of hidden seeds, that from my flailing arm have been caught in the green tresses.


The blackbird when it is recalled in culture reminds us of the times when small birds were an easily available addition to the diet, as in the familiar nursery rhyme:


“Sing a Song of Sixpence
A Pocket full of Rye;
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked in a Pie!
When the Pie was opened the Birds began to Sing
Oh wasn’t that a Dainty Dish to set before the King?”



While being remembered too today in the Beatles track ‘Blackbird’, with its haunting melody and lyrics:


“Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise!"

Illustration from Sing a Song for Sixpence (1880) by Randolph Caldecott (d. 1886) [Price: one shilling]


Another pie song is for the magpie – when I was growing up there weren’t so many, as they were considered a pest and were shot, but now they’re around in profusion ... acting as the jack of all trades – scavenger, predator and pest-dstroyer.


Magpie in flight

Believe it or not magpie is a shortened form of Margaret’s pie, maggot pie and similar ... as Shakespeare, in Macbeth III, iv, informs us:


“Augurs and understood relations have
(By maggot pies, and choughs, and rooks) brought forth
The secret’st man of blood.”

Colloquially in the Middle Ages Bishops were formerly called ‘magpies’ in humour or derision because of their black and white vestments; per Howell’s Letters: Lines to the Knowing Reader, 1645:


“Lawyers as Vultures, had soared up and down;
Prelates, like Magpies, in the Air had flown.”



‘To rook a pigeon’ – used to be a common phrase, meaning to fleece a greenhorn ...


... but here the Woodpigeons (eleven or more), Jackdaws (nine of them) and two Rooks now swarm in to have a guzzle – they do appear to leave some tempting morsels for the Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Thrushes, Sparrows, BlueTits, Greenfinch, Robins et al .. who, when the going is clear, wander in and out to search for the seed that was scattered by this fair hand.


Jackdaw



Being so near the sea (English Channel) we have both the Common Gull and the Herring Gull – the Herring Gull being the plague, in the summer, to the snacking ‘board walker’ and lunchtime relaxer ... wishing for some peace and quiet by the lapping waves ... as his sandwich or chip is a tempter to be snatched away.

The Birds: Theatrical Release Poster 1963

At the Nursing Centre I had my first sighting of a Green Woodpecker – so I was excited early in the New Year on a warm day to see him pecking away for insects, ants are his speciality, in the lawn (sometimes called a ‘Yaffle’ relating to its laughing call); while last year I spotted two Jays - a flash of blue and white as they flew amongst a glade of trees.


Green Woodpecker (Yaffle!)



Jay


Well ... certainly down here the birds have survived and are already breeding, which perhaps shows we may have an early spring ... the mosquitoes and flies are out, and I’ve seen a wasp .. just one!!

The daffodils are spiking, the snowdrops are well and truly drifting, the celandines are out ... but watch for your open windows with magpies and jackdaws about ....


John Gay in his Beggar’s Opera (1728) notes that “A covetous fellow, like a jackdaw, steals what he was never made to enjoy, for the sake of hiding it” ... which Richard Harris Barham (1788 – 1845), the English cleric, novelist and humorous poet, made into lore in the Ingoldsby Legends, one of which is the “Jackdaw of Rheims”.

The forerunner of the Royal Opera House was able to build a new theatre (The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden) based on the success of the Beggar’s Opera – running originally for 62 consecutive performances in those winterless months of 1728 ... the longest run in theatre history up to that time.
Painting based on The Beggar's Opera, Scene V, William Hogarth, c. 1728, in the Tate Britain

So many legends, stories, tales, nursery rhymes, poems have sprung up around our feathered friends and I haven’t even mentioned Cock Robin ... which continue on today – all to be watched over by the crafty fox, who also frequents these territories under the cover of a darkening night.

My intention had been to partake in the Great British Garden Birdwatch .. but I never noticed the adverts for it & so the weekend has passed .. this is my post from last year with some more bird photos and some extra information. Now I have a garden ... to keep an eye on – I will do a follow up later on in the year .. to see who visits once the winter feeding frenzy is over. Enjoy Spring as it does seem to be a-coming ... roll on, roll on!


"JackDaw of Rheims" poem via Bartelby


Dear Mr Postman ... all is peaceful and I read to Mum or offer to chat – often declined ... but I’m there and then sit and read a book to keep her company. We still laugh and interact, and she loves her flowers .... daffodils, agapanthus, crocuses, grape hyacinths, hyacinths, more daffodils and primrose .. some in pots, some jugs full of flowers ...
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

68 comments:

Karen Lange said...

This is wonderful, Hilary! My Mom used to sing the Sixpence Song - good memories! :) Thanks for the links.

Blessings for your day,
Karen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. lovely that you can remember your mother through this post .. birds always bring magic to us in one way or another ..

Hope you get time to look at the links .. thank so much for coming by and leaving a comment

Enjoy the rest of the week .. Hilary

Chris Edgar said...

Hi Hilary -- I'm just thankful that you didn't include a picture of Maggot Pie. Otherwise, good madam, by my troth, and forsooth, I am of the feather to like thy post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. amazing comment - totally in the genre .. thank you!! I too am so glad I didn't find a maggot pie to even think about including .. but they are still eaten by various natives in their own cultures - probably not in pie form!!

Loved your comment though .. very clever - I can imagine a Sara, Patricia or a Davina thoroughly enjoying your turn of phrase ..

Thanks so much .. fun!! I am of a feather to like thy comment .. great - Hilary

Joanne said...

I'm a walker, and on the last few walks we've taken, we noticed it was very silent outside. No birdsong at all this winter. I think we've had too much snow and the birds are hunkering down, saving their energy and seeking food, maybe.

That magpie is a pretty bird, I like the markings on its feathers. It's got a regal look to it.

Well, Hilary, I've perched here long enough, time to fly back to my blog :)

Happy Wednesday to you ...

Mandy Allen said...

Hi Hilary, another great post. I do remember a very bad snow fall here in Norfolk in the winter 1978/79. I was working away from home and the snow was so bad it came up to the top of the hedges so you couldn't even see the roads! I was snowed in at my lodgings for two weeks and unable to get home. It has been a bad year here too. Friends in the USA are snowed in currently. Both they and I always feed our feathered friends.

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Talking of snow I remember the year of 1963, it was the year I got married my didn't it snow.

Loved the birds from my window is a tree and there are all varieties that gather there, I feed them every day even the squrriels join in with the daily feed.

Enjoyed the post.
Yvonne.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Talking of snow I remember the year of 1963, it was the year I got married my didn't it snow.

Loved the birds from my window is a tree and there are all varieties that gather there, I feed them every day even the squrriels join in with the daily feed.

Enjoyed the post.
Yvonne.

Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - I love this! As you know, Pete and I are bird nerds. It was so fun to read this and see the lovely photos, especially the green woodpecker. Thank you.

Linda said...

Hilary, what a nice nature lesson. I love the birds, too. My mom used to feed them - sunflower seeds for the cardinals and chickadees, thistle seed for the finches, and mixed food for the sparrows.

TALON said...

Loved this, Hilary. I'm an avid bird watcher and bird lover and I loved this!

Jannie Funster said...

Something about Monet's Magpie always brings a tear to my eye, the lighting is magical.

Wonderful, as usual how you tie so much in.

And who needs the Great British Garden Birdwatch!? You're brought us one here, and delightful.

Glad to hear of your mom laughing and enjoying her flowers.

have a wonderful day.

xoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. that's a lovely occupation - but not to hear birdsong .. I hope they're doing what you think and haven't died because of the cold, ice and lack of water. Let us know how things develop as the Spring unfolds ...

The magpie is very pretty especially as it has wonderful iridescent feathering - but doesn't share!

Back to Whole Latte Life sounds a very good idea - as it's breakfast time here! Cheers for now & have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mandy .. thank you - 78/79 was the year I went off to South Africa -so I'm pleased to say I missed that batch!

When the snow does bank up here - there isn't anything we can do .. and that's what I remember in the 62/63 storm .. but fortunately I wasn't snowed in at my lodgings .. I hope it wasn't too difficult? just memories now!

I've noticed you've had lots of snow up there in Norfolk ... and the States are still getting snowfalls. Just glad I live here!

The pigeons are waiting for their daily feed .. patience does have to be there virtue!

You too - enjoy the rest of the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. that year was terrible wasn't it?! Went on forever .. I hope your wedding was in the part of the year when there wasn't snow - but you have even more reason to remember with all the organisation necessary for a wedding.

You're right just watching to see what turns up will be interesting as the year progresses .. I've seen much more activity now that the weather is warmer.

Thanks Yvonne .. happy thoughts and memories to you .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. thank you .. yes it'd be great to spend a few days with you - enjoying the food, bird-watching & have a literary tour!!

The green woodpecker was there again yesterday - so it was lovely having that second look ..

Hope you and Pete are adjusting .. with thoughts - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda .. the red cardinals - always look so colourful, while the chickadee is a 'tit' ... the crested one looks pretty pleased with himself! Beautiful birds .. they have such wonderful colours.

I'm afraid I'm a mixed seed feeder, but they get extras .. they seem to be doing alright - perhaps I'll be better organised next year.

Good memories for us all .. mothers and bird feeding .. enjoy today - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon - your photos are stunning, while the stories and poems you write bring in your love of nature .. amazing work.

I love looking at your blog - so I'll see you there, but thanks so much for coming by - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. thanks - a friend sent me a postcard .. so I had to use the picture = good timing! I loved the rook one too ...

.. and as you say I enjoy posting art and information together - we do live in a wonderful world which nature has created, but which we, as humans, have added to through our works ... most of which I know little about - and I hope others enjoy as much as I do.

Thanks Jannie - yes .. that's exactly what I was doing for my little corner of the world - a reference point.

My Mum is amazing and so grateful for everything .. you too have a great week with your centrepieces, hubby's birthday et al .. Hope you had a glorious evening together with Kelly ... cheers Hilary

Dot said...

A very pleassant read while sipping a cup of coffee and waiting for spring to arrive!

Arlee Bird said...

I guess birds have always captured man's imaginations because they can fly.
Have you seen the wonderful documentary Winged Migration? They have some amazing footage of birds throughout the world. I was a bit surprised from the extra making of feature on the DVD that admitted some of the birds filmed had been trained and the scenes were staged. In a way that makes it all more amazing.
I have a copy of that DVD on my shelf next to the animated film Chicken Run--that's a bird of a different feather for sure.

Interesting post with many unique connections made.

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dot .. long wait I suspect!! Hope you enjoyed your coffee .. I'm onto tea here .. it's very damp and wet outside .. gloomy at its worst almost!

Glad you enjoyed it though - see you and look after yourself - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - good to see you and with such a wonderful comment. I expect you're right .. they can fly towards the Gods and the sun ..

I have - we had the film at our local film society a few years back .. amazing as you say. Interesting about the extra footage on the DVD .. I hadn't seen notes about that - even though I know there's so much back story we can catch up on now via DVDs and forums etc ..

Fun - and the Chicken Run is a great film too - and another bird of a feather completely ..

Thanks - delighted to read you appreciated the connections I made .. have a good rest of the week and weekend .. cheers Hilary

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. I always enjoy reading your posts. This one about birds makes me wish for spring that much more. Snow go away so the birds can come back.

I've watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds, several times. Whenever I see large flocks of birds, that movie always comes to mind.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. delighted to hear. Sorry about the two snowy pictures, we're just in grey gloom, and like you I can't wait for Spring to come along. We had one lovely day this week .. but you've got snow again I see.

I can't say I'm fond of the movie "The Birds" .. not keen on horrors! Even now with the pigeons and jackdaws on the lawn .. they flock around .. I'd like them to have one of human traits "patience" .. and give me a chance to distribute my largesse!!

Have a good rest of the week and thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Wonderful, Hilary! I saw a goldfinch the other day hopping about in the greenery outside. We have, oddly, a lot of parakeets around, too - escaped from houses and now living in the mearby parks! I love their song.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. thanks - amazing how much wildlife there is in London .. but you're near Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Holland Park and the Embankment .. let alone the embassy and palace gardens in "Kensington Palace land".

Goldfinches are beautiful and I hope get to see one down here .. with their red faces ..

One of the 'booklets' I refer to is the Observer Guide to the Top 50 Garden Birds .. in conjunction with the RSPB published late 2008 .. and the Ring Necked Parakeet pops up at number 35!! Our only naturalised parrot .. and I guess in London you would have a few (understatement) .. I loved that film of them in LA. As the Guide says they can be very noisy!!

Cheers good to see you - Hilary

Sara said...

Hilary,

Wow...this a post for me as I love birds, which you probably know by now. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of some your "locals."

I was fascinated by your Jay bird. Ours are almost totally, blue with white and black trimmings...but no pink at all...and they're big and LOUD. I enjoy them because they're very smart and warn the other birds about hawks. Then again, they also mimic a hawk to chase birds away from a feeder so they can feed.

Great post and lots of fun for me:~)

Cheers!

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Thoroughly enjoyed these childhood memories - my mother's parents came from England and when I read your post, I'm reminded of how much they passed on to us.

Plus Magpies were a part of prairie life - those brazen and bold beauties. I'd not heard the origin of the name - thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. yes .. you have your lovely feeders outside your door and watch the birds in the garden - just delighted you enjoyed the photos etc.

I had to check the picture I used was correct - but it matches the Guide I've been using. I just glimpsed them in the trees up at the Nursing Home - perhaps I'll see them here. Also I have no idea if ours act in the way yours do .. the Home is called Kestrel .. so perhaps there might have been kestrels in the woodland around.

I'll be keeping a better eye open in the future .. Mum's room doesn't really have a view - straight out onto a cherry tree .. but she prefers it - cool and dark.

Delighted and good to see you - hope the eyes are continuing to improve .. cheers to you too!! Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. you're right - life and culture continues on ... especially two generations back, because the world was that much smaller then. England went where they went & all the traditions, books, stories etc ..

Delighted you were able to be reminded of your mother's memories of her parents and her reminiscences.

Again are your magpies like ours? I see yours is called the Black-Billed Magpie .. but nearer to the Californian Yellow-billed Magpie - but it looks similar to ours .. though the DNA provides the differences! Ours act like yours - brazen, bold and beautiful!

Thanks Amy for coming by .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. re Jays ..your Blue Jays are not related to ours at all .. very pretty looking creatures though .. the Wiki pic has him sitting on a snow covered branch.

Cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Nothing like the delicate birdsong that awakens us to the music within our own hearts.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. you're right just lying quietly listening to the song and especially in the mornings - they're out there now and the magpies are chuntering! - even on a wet morning. The songs so varied to awaken the depths within us.

Thank you - have a good weekend - Hilary

walk2write said...

When we lived in Kentucky, we attended a little country church where the congregants were open to singing even a popular song or two now and then. I was pleasantly surprised one morning when Cat Stevens' hymn about a blackbird was chosen. I'm not sure if he wrote it, but I could hear his version in my head as we sang together. Such good memories your post evoked in me, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi W2W - thanks for that lovely vignette .. it appears to be a Christian hymn first published in 1931 .. (see more in Wikipedia: Morning has broken) .. which Cat Stevens included a version on his 1971 Album "Teaser and the Firecat".

Delighted that I brought back some memories of Kentucky, family life and the tiny country church - fun to hear about .. thank you - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Paul C said...

In a sparse, wintry landscape one notices the few birds a little more. In our area the hawks sit on trees scanning the grassland. I like your interesting overview of the native birds, particularly the magpie. A lot of history and allusion here.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. I haven't seen hawks here - but I don't tend to travel far at the moment, or look for them ... they must be around ... probably along the flats (flood levels) as we call them ... lowland between the sea and the land.

Thank you - it seemed a good way for me to be reminded of the birds I'm learning about .. and as you know weaving history and a little 'trivia' goes a long way in my blog!

Good to see you - thank you .. Hilary

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love this! What a creative idea for a post, Hilary. You can never go wrong with birds. LOL. :-)

Yaya' s Home said...

Such a fun post. I love the birds an' flowers, although I don't know very many of 'em by their names. I am especially drawn by the beautiful music when I step outside. Curiously, we don't seem to have as many birds here as where I used to live. I miss that. P'rhaps they jus' haven't realized we've changed addresses, yet, ya' think?

Thanks for the education an' the fun ways you shared. I loved it all.

~ Yaya

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Historical authors could use this post as part of their research. Fascinating!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. thank you - it's fun to record and to remember .. so much has happened through the seasons of time and our feathered friends have been with us through thick and thin!

Delighted you enjoyed the photos and post .. thanks enjoy the weekend - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yaya .. you probably haven't left your forwarding address for them to follow!

I wonder why you apparently have fewer song birds .. perhaps they've got a broader range to spread into, or even less diversity?

It's a pleasure .. thank you for the comment .. enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. many thanks .. I just enjoy weaving together aspects of life .. and bringing back to our memories aspects we may have forgotten. Good to have such a lovely comment - thank you.

Have a peaceful weekend .. Hilary

Short poems said...

Such a fun and interesting post, Hilary!
All the best
Marinela x

Connie Arnold said...

I always love visiting your blog, Hilary. You have such creative and interesting posts! Thanks for sharing about the birds and the great pictures.

Patricia said...

There were lots of birds singing this morning, I wish I could remember the names and the songs of each. A few of the winter travelers have returned. It is pouring rain and windy now here and so no songs or flits

I enjoyed your post very much. Don't know why I seem to get here late, ah then I can enjoy all the comments.
Thank you
Glad your mum is being with grace.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela .. many thanks .. glad you enjoyed it .. have a good week to come .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Connie .. thank you - it's lovely seeing you here .. I just love finding things out and then letting you know about them too! It's always good to know you enjoy my eclectic views. I love putting the pictures in - seems to bring the posts to life.

Thanks - all the best Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia - good to see you .. I too love reading others comments on the blogs (because I too am late usually) ..

The bird song and birds have really taken off here - so the longer days and warmer temperatures are pointing us all in the right direction = spring!

That's why when I was writing this post - I was thinking I'll have the record and reminder for the future - I'm always referring back to things.

We're about to get some more of your windy and wet weather .. even though you're on the west coast.

Exactly - well said - Mum is "being with grace". Have a peaceful day and enjoy your walks despite the weather .. cheers Hilary

Arts web show said...

I didn't know half of these birds things as i do now. lol.
Thanks for the education.
.
Mag pies (maggot pies) lol that makes so much sense

LTM said...

what gorgeous bird photos! I love the magpie in flight. I've always wondered how the black birds stayed alive in the pie... LOL! Thanks, girl~ <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. many thanks .. - the maggot pies ..could be good material for you and your videos?

It's interesting how things have changed over the centuries .. and been named. Good to see you - have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. thank you the magpie in flight I too thought was an amazing photo. Well .. poor blackbirds baked in a pie .. one of the chefs here recreated that aspect .. and the blackbirds flew out in front of the guests .. it was part of a theatrical performance that was put on by the kitchens in the Middle Ages, which the chef replicated.

Good to see you - enjoy the week .. Hilary

Deborah Ann said...

I don't know my birds that well. And I never heard of a Jackdaw. God certainly must relish in creativity - in humans and animals alike!

Happy Valentines Day!

J.D. Meier said...

I' a fan of birds, but they haven't always been my friend.

When I used to walk to school, there was a Blue Jay that was out to get me. I had made the mistake of trying to help her baby that had fallen from its nest, not knowing you're not supposed to do that. The mother Blue Jay followed me every day to school.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah Ann ... nor did I - so I thought a little post would help! I'd heard of the Jackdaw of Rheims somewhere in my childhood ..

but you're right - God is very creative in the creatures he makes - including the variants of us (humans)!

You too - I'm have a peaceful Valentine's Day .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. good to see you - I think I can understand your feelings .. after your experience. I've never found a baby bird and wanted to put it back - but the birds sure have learnt quickly. I imagine some boy -nightmares have ensued?!

I have had a similar experience with elephants in Botswana .. and that was slightly scarier!! The matriarch wouldn't leave us alone & split our 'convoy' .. we did get through & I have to say I was relieved!!

Thanks for coming by - I hope to be back up and running properly shortly .. all the best - Hilary

Stephen Tremp said...

So that's where magpie came from. I learn something new here every time I visit. And i remember that image from a kids of the Sing a Song of Sixpence and the blackbirds flying out of a pie. And I've always like that Beatles song. But then I like all the Beatle's songs.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. good of you to come over .. I'll be back up and running shortly.

Isn't it great when the memory bank from our youth comes back into view again .. did you sing the song with your kids .. and tell them about the pie? I'm sure birds were flying around the kitchens in the Middle Ages .. escaping to live again.

Me too - Beatles' era I fell into. I think I appreciate their songs more now .. can understand their meaning better ..

Lovely seeing you .. cheers Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Spring is showing signs of awakening here. This morning I heard the first mourning dove as I was laying in bed. Such a soft pretty sound.

Thinking of you all and hoping you are well.

Xxoo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. it is definitely on its way here - the catkins are out, the bulbs are popping up and some of the winter jasmine is out.

I didn't know your dove was called a Mourning one - but see it's an American bird. As you say they do have wonderful calls .. soft and delicate.

I'm fine thank you as is Mum - just doing a few other important things and nearly back. Cheers - Jannie .. be back in the blogging world shortly .. xoxox Hils

Susanne Drazic said...

I hope you will stop by to get the award I've given you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. many thanks for The Stylish Blogger Award - really kind of you to think of me. Love your five favourite things .. family and friends are so important .. food too!

New bloggers to catch up with too .. that's great .. cheers and have a great week .. the award is much appreciated - Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

The blackbirds quotes bring me back. One of my first records (yeah, I'm that old) was of nursery rhymes. I remember the blackbird one being on it. And The Beatles one is a classic!

There are so many beautiful birds. Living in a city, I forgot the varieties out in the world. These days, I've been thinking of owls.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. There must have been nursery rhymes on records .. but I don't think we had them. I loved find these poems again .. as I found other links too .. interesting memories.

The bird song here is growing every day .. it's cold today - but still they're out there chirping away ..

Owls are special aren't they .. and wise - they hide and keep quiet ..except for the twit-a-whooooo ..

Enjoy the rest of the weekend .. Hilary

riley harrison said...

Hi Hilary,
What a beautiful blogsite you have created! I'm not a hard core birder but I do enjoy their beauty and song. I've just started reading To See Every Bird On Earth (A Father,A Son and a Lifelong Obsession)by Dan Koeppel. I'm fully resigned to the fact that I'm going to get hooked and stay up half the night reading. This post was a great warm-up act. Wish you the best and thanks.
Riley

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Riley .. good to meet you - delighted you found the blog and would love to know how you got here!?

Did you stay up half the night reading? .. it seems a fun book - I googled it ..

I'm not a birder - but just love posting about things that interest me in my quirky way .. give everyone I hope something to think about - & I had the photos because they add to whole .. & I learn as I go.

Good to meet and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary