Bedridden Birding

Blackbird on a Skerries shoreline, not in my back garden

I had flu late Monday and through yesterday, as it got worse I was in bed all day Tuesday. I couldn’t sleep during the night, and when I was finally fit enough to get out and about it was dark again. But it wasn’t a complete loss in terms of appreciating the birds of the neighbourhood.

I had a vague ear on what was going outside for passing Common Scoter. They are leaving the seas off Blackpool at the moment and cutting across land on their migration to breed. Their calls are quite soft though so it probably helps to be outside listening properly for them.

At some point in the small hours a Robin was singing. They are renowned for this, and will often sing in well lit urban settings during the night in winter. It was something of a tonic to hear as I waited for painkillers to kick in.

The proper dawn chorus got underway with a solitary male Blackbird. I do think the song of the Blackbird is underrated. At some point I heard some alarm calling from a Blackie, perhaps because there was a cat in the vicinity.

Later on I was conscious of some Oystercatchers passing over with their distinctive ‘kleep’ notes. Then I remembered that some of the local Starlings seem to have incorporated Oyc calls into their call kleptomania, so had to mentally downgrade that to a ‘possible’.

Finally at some point mid morning before I was able to sleep for a while the repetitive ‘sitchu-sitchu-sitchu-sitchu’ of a singing Coal Tit rang out, presumably from the conifers in next door’s garden. I always like to see Coal Tits in the garden, with their endearing habits of taking seeds from the feeders and caching them around the borders for another day.

So for a day of being unwell and ‘not birding’ there were still uplifting birding moments.

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