The View from Here: the rhythms of life

What will be the colour of April that I’ll remember when this month wanes?

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“Oh to be in England now that April’s there… “

I think Browning would have yearned particularly for April in England year: in this corner of England at least. Continue reading “The View from Here: the rhythms of life”

Birds on the Balcony: babies, buzzards and soaring seagulls

When we were first talking about moving to Cornwall I made it quite clear that I didn’t want seagulls in my airspace

The balcony is awash with babies.  A plethora of fluffy fledglings, often with soft grey down still competing with new adult feathers.  They make me think of cuckoos, these innocent babes, for invariably they are larger than their industrious parents: puffed up by their motley mix of feathers, with their wings fluttering and their gapes wide and demanding.  Life is so precarious for these infants in their first few days of life in the big wide world.  Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: babies, buzzards and soaring seagulls”

Birds on the Balcony: Hitchcock vs Daphne

Regardless … will somebody please make a Cornish version?

One day this week there was an unusual degree of noise from the crows.  Investigation with the binoculars revealed a tractor working in a field on the skyline across the valley, and behind it, crows clamoured in large numbers.  Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: Hitchcock vs Daphne”

Birds on the Balcony: the swallow is come!

The edges of their wings on the underside are like chequerboards…

I saw my first swallow of the year at Lerryn on April 19th.  There it was – just the one – sitting neatly on a telephone wire.  I was astonished; it seemed so early!  But a few days later they were here, at Highfield, in numbers.  Swooping and plunging, weaving intricate patterns through clear skies with swift sureness of eye and wing.  And from the balcony, I can watch them as often from above as below.  Beautiful and breath-taking grace. Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: the swallow is come!”

Birds on the Balcony: squabblers and mobsters

It does not do to get on the wrong side of a crow

Today I watched two examples of aggressive behaviour that brought home to me how little I know about even the most commonplace of our birds.  The sparrows were particularly quarrelsome this morning: Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: squabblers and mobsters”