On July 12th I wrote of the song thrush beginning its dawn chorus at five to seven each morning. Slowly over the intervening six weeks that time has been pushed back, slowly at first but with gathering pace. After a couple of weeks it jumped to 6.45, then 6.35 and 6.25, seemingly in 10 minute steps. Then more quickly to where it is now at 6.10 am. Last weekend I noticed for the first time that the blackbird has joined in, dominating with its stronger, more resonant song. Blackbirds should have been singing earlier in August but this is the first I’ve heard. Now that the two are singing together it is easy to hear the difference between them.
Out of interest, sunrise on July 12 was at 7.32 am, 37 minutes after the thrush began singing. Now sunrise is at 6.46 am which is 36 minutes after the thrush and blackbird. I can’t fault the thrush on its consistency.
As I wrote the other day, the song thrush has been keeping me company in the garden and has been busy hunting snails which suits me fine. I heard the Crack! of a snail shell hitting my drive and as I had my camera with me I caught this little snippet.
I’ve just come in from weeding the garden. Killing two birds with one stone, I also managed some photos of the friendly song thrush which came to eat whatever I was disturbing. I say “friendly” thrush but in fact the blackbird is much less shy and came a lot closer to gather food for her recently hatched chicks. The thrush though is a real favourite of mine. Ever since I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a kid I’ve remembered the thrush (though evidently not a song thrush) scene; “At that very moment he (Bilbo) heard a sharp crack behind him. There on the grey stone in the grass was an enormous thrush, nearly coal black, its pale yellow breast freckled with dark spots. Crack! It had caught a snail and was knocking it on the stone. Crack!” Then a little later; “The old thrush, who had been watching from a high perch with beady eyes and head cocked on one side, gave a sudden trill”. I didn’t get any sudden trills but I was definitely being watched by that curious eye.