Gratitude List 18/06/2019: The ones with feathers!

Gratitude List 18/06/2019

As you’re probably aware by now, I have a keen interest in birds (the ones with feathers!) It’s an interest that was passed down from my father. I’m not embarrassed to say that watching them go about their day gives me so much joy. I’ve always thought to myself I need to learn something new. And I do, but I realised (only this morning) that this is an interest I have learnt about and have continued to learn about over the years, especially since being in recovery.

Today I am grateful to see the three types of Tits (resist Dean resist). The differences between a Coal Tit, a Blue Tit and a Great Tit are at first subtle, but once learnt they are clear and consistent.

Today I am grateful to lean back and take in the spitfire-like-flight of the swifts above. So elegant and…. well ‘swift’. Rarely seen out of the air, in fact they often sleep in flight. Confused with the Swallow but has less of a ‘V’ in its tail.

Today I am grateful to hear the calls of both the Collared Dove and the Wood Pigeon. I enjoy recognising the difference between the Collared Doves smooth three piece call and the rougher edged five piece of the Wood Pigeon.

Today I am grateful to have witnessed how a male Wood Pigeon attracts a mating partner. In true Planet Earth fashion, the male stepped and hopped along the fence over to his target, before performing an elaborate bow and chest-puff combo. One male failed. Another tried and clearly scored better.

Today I am grateful for the forever migrating Starlings. Often seen as a nuisance but they are spectacular looking birds. What other birds literally glitter? I have seen a few juveniles recently, at first I thought they were females, they are browner in colour but again, very beautiful.

Today I am grateful for the industrious House Sparrows. This time of year they are always busy feeding their young and perfecting their nests. If I’m lucky I get to see a group of them perform a fluttering dance in and out of the vegetation of the garden.

Today I am grateful for the Carrion Crow. If these birds weren’t so commonly seen, maybe we would appreciate how beautiful they really are. Large in size, gloriously jet black and apparently one of the most intelligent birds out there.

Today I am grateful for the vibrantly coloured Goldfinch. This petit member of the Finch family is a combination of brown, white, black, red and gold. If one arrives so will many others. His chirp is distinctive and therefore easily distinguishable between other garden birds.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful red breasted Robin. He has an absolutely poetic chorus (I can hear one right now). Incredibly tame birds which will eat from your hand if trained. The king of the English garden in my books.

Today I am grateful I get to see all of this in my garden. All I need to do is take the time to take it in and read a bit. If I want to broaden my viewing all I need to do is step out into a nearby park, woodland or common and take my book.

Today I am grateful I have loved passing on this knowledge to my children. As I have, I hope they remember some of it.