I’m writing this first blog of the day at 5am after having enjoyed 45 minutes of Gökotta.
I didn’t set the alarm to wake up at 4am, I hardly ever set an alarm as waking up is not a problem, but going to bed soon after 9pm these days often results in me being wide awake fairly early. With the windows open because of the heat of yesterday I could hear Blackbirds singing outside, several of them, and the level of light coming through the curtains told me it must be quite early.
So at 415am I was sitting at the end of the garden bathing in bird song and looking at grey clouds move across the sky. I’d already watered the vegetables to ensure that they were succulent enough for the slugs and snails to enjoy.
Actually, the slugs aren’t too bad, and I think that the fact that there are three broods of Blackbirds being fed partially from the pickings in my modest garden must have something to do with that. But slug-fed Blackbirds were the main choristers in the dawn chorus as they have been since March. I cannot tire of Blackbird song, it’s too beautiful to ignore however often one has heard it through one’s life, through this Spring or even through this 45 minutes of sitting and listening.
I was listening for a Robin, as they are pretty low-profile at the moment in my garden but there wasn’t a song from one. But there was a Blackcap singing off and on,and a couple of snatches of Wren and a lot of Goldfinch twittering. This is the time to hear distant Pheasants from my garden, and I did.
If you want the rest of the birdlist up until 5am today it was: Woodpigeon, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Black-headed Gull.
I was sitting in a shelted place and it was warm enough to sit in shirtsleeves perfectly comfortably. The dark grey clouds were worth watching as I listened for song. I’m much more aware of the wind direction these days although I think that, as a birder, I’m always well aware of whether the wind is coming from Europe or the Americas. It’s a very southerly wind at the moment, just nudged west of south but not by very much. The forecast is for it to get stronger and be quite a blow by 9am.
I watched the clouds go by – as they do. They were already going by quite quickly at 430am, they weren’t dawdling clouds, they were clouds on a mission, and maybe because they were leaden grey clouds, they were on a dark mission.
Aren’t clouds amazing? The world would be a poorer place without clouds. I’ve seen quite a lot of bright blue skies this Spring and they certainly have their place, but give me a blue sky with 40% white fluffy-looking cumulus clouds any day in preference – the clouds make it a lot easier to spot high circling raptors for a start, but they are also just fascinating.
This morning’s clouds were grey, light grey and dark grey, and covered c90% of the sky. I was looking at the underside of the cloud formation and it was like looking at the underside of an enormous moving entity – like the opening scenes in some Star Wars films. What did the top of the clouds look like? How thick were they and how high did they reach? I couldn’t tell from my viewpoint. I’d imagined looking at clouds from both sides now but I really don’t know clouds at all, so Joni Mitchell would be happy.
It’s only 530am, not even time to make the tea. Time to get on with some real work.