Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Birds and Sunshine in the Garden

Another sunny day yesterday, for the most part. I sat out in the garden reading in the morning, with Olga snoozing on her bed beside me. I became aware of a very vocal bird singing from the direction of Mrs. Kravitz's roof, and eventually I spotted it -- a blackbird, sitting up by the chimney pots. That thing sang and sang with wild abandon.

According to my Merlin bird app, with which I made this recording, there were also European robins, great tits and a Eurasian wren in the vicinity. (I think the wren is the very loud bird that pipes up around the 22 second mark. The tits have a two-note song that's readily identifiable too.) The blackbird goes quiet around the 1:15 mark, only emitting a single high tone over and over -- at least, I think that was the blackbird -- but he/she eventually starts up again.

And here's a little dunnock that came flitting around the base of the hydrangeas. It was hard to get a clear shot, that bird was so nervous!

And here's Olga, enjoying the sun. I could take a picture of that dog lying in the sun every day of my life and not get bored. It's such a calming image of pure satisfaction.

You might be wondering (I'm sure you're not) whether I've set up our new garden cam yet, to capture images of the foxes and whatever else might wander past. I have, but so far it's only recorded squirrels and someone's itinerant house cat. I've been pulling the data card every morning to check. Someday I'll have a video to show you.

One of my library colleagues came over last night so we could compare notes on our jobs and the school and basically catch up on gossip. It was fun but we polished off a bottle of wine, so between that and our Easter dinner the day before, I feel like I need a couple of days of detox. My poor liver.


Sue in Suffolk said...

Your garden is certainly several degrees warmer than over here in the East - no chance of sitting out yet.

That's a good recording of the blackbird - they always sound so happy

River said...

You probably don't need to read this, but every time Olga is on my screen I "pat" her on the head. I have to clean my screen daily.

Yael said...

Olga reminds me so much of the beloved dog I had for 15 years, I'm always happy to see photos of her. The sounds of the birds at your place this morning mixed with the sounds of the birds here coming from the open window.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I could look daily at pictures of Olga lying in the sun. It makes me feel the same. That view of the chimney pots is charming.

Andrew said...

We have black birds. I don't know if they are the same as yours but they are a pain.
For whatever reason I really like the photo of Olga.
Live your life happy and if means a drink or two in company, why not.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It's funny that your blackbird sang with "wild abandon" when the blackbirds around here sing with "gay abandon"..."happy, carefree, bright and showy".

Bob said...

I'm with you about Olga in the garden; her face screams contentment.

Boud said...

We're nowhere near sitting out weather. Olga is such a contented dog. Well, she's on velvet!

Ms. Moon said...

I just activated my own Merlin bird ID and within a minute got six different birds reported. I just love this app. One of the things I've learned is that the Carolina Wren has the most songs of all the birds here. They are filled with song!
I hope you and your co-worker figured out the problems of the world, or at least your own part of it.
Olga. Bless her sweet doggo heart.

Ed said...

I love this time of the year when the birds are out and making noise and the mosquitoes have still not emerged.

ellen abbott said...

the birdsong was a nice background while I read. my favorite is the mockingbird for sheer exuberance and variety of song.

Ellen D. said...

I'm rarely fast enough to catch a photo of a bird. You do a good job of that, Steve. What a nice life Olga has!

Sharon said...

I'm listening to birds singing half way across the world! That is so amazing to me. I love seeing Olga enjoying the sunshine.
The sun is shining again here in the desert after three days of rain. We had a record amount of rain on Easter Sunday.

gz said...

Blackbird territory wars!!
They are shouting morning and night here.

If you hear a bird singing "teacher, teacher" that is a Great Tit.

A wren does have a loud voice for such a tiny bird, doesn't it?!

Michael said...

I get the whole dog photo thing. I take so MANY photos of Shirley, but I cannot help myself!

Linda Sue said...

I cranked up the volume and stared at Olga Three times already thin morning. Thank you for getting us off to a fine start! Curious about the app, though all it would pick up here are sea gulls , jays and crows. Not at all melodic! They all seem to curse!

The Bug said...

If spring ever stops springing (so we can sit outside without sneezing) I should have Mike download that app. I know he enjoys identifying the birds on his own, but he might like to see what the app says too.

Susan said...

Your garden attracts lots of birds. The birds are active and rejoicing in Spring. I bet you will have a few nests nearby. It is still quite cool in Massachusetts and not yet warm enough to sit in the garden. The birds are plentiful and I saw my first Robin a few days ago. Sweet Olga has her special cushion for sitting in the garden with you....I love it.

gz said...

P.S. love those chimney pots!

Wilma said...

Isn't that Merlin Bird Sound ID wonderful! I use it while walking the dogs at dawn and catch so many birds I would otherwise not have paid attention to. We will soon have a parade of warblers heading north for lots of birdie excitement!

Rachel Phillips said...

You are very good in saying it is a dunnock. I would have just said it is a sparrow.

Kelly said...

I can look at your photos of Olga every day and never get bored. Keep 'em coming!

I finally downloaded the Merlin ID app a few weeks ago and wonder how I ever lived without it. I am amazed at the number of birds in my area! I think some of the loudest (especially in relation to size) are the Tufted Titmice.

Margaret said...

My cat basking in the sunlight is also delightful. She is surely part lizard! I love the sounds of birds except early in the morning when I'm trying to sleep.

Debby said...

Like everyone else, I could look at Olga in the sun every day. I could also listen to that blackbird every day too. You have a little piece of paradise right outside your sitting room door.

Red said...

It's a great time of the year to be out. You see all the returning birds and any blooms that come out.

Mike O'Brien said...

The birdsong was just lovely, Steve, along with the chimneypot blackbird. As Sharon said - how amazing to listen to birds from halfway around the world. And Olga - sun bliss incarnated.

Chris from Boise

Steve Reed said...

Sue: It's only comfortable if the sun is out. When the clouds pass overhead it gets cold quickly!

River: Awwwww! I love that, and so does Olga.

Yael: It's kind of magical to mingle birdsong on different continents, isn't it?!

Mitchell: They are nice chimney pots, aren't they?

Andrew: I think I have a pretty effective "brake system" for when I need to stop drinking, and the warning lights are flashing right now! It's just been a very social week.

YP: You have gay blackbirds? How do you know?

Bob: Or maybe sighs contentment?

Boud: She's actually on some kind of gray polyester, but it does LOOK velvety in the photo. :)

Ms Moon: I usually get about four birds in any given take, and they're almost always the same ones! Blackbird, robin, tit, and one wild card.

Ed: Fortunately mosquitoes I don't deal with here.

Ellen: Our blackbirds are similar to mockingbirds in that they're so vocal and their song can vary. But I agree -- nothing tops a mockingbird for exuberance.

Ellen D: You don't hear about all the shots I miss!

Sharon: There seems to be something symbolic in the desert being washed clean by rain on Easter!

GZ: Yes, I've learned to recognize the "teacher, teacher" call!

Michael: Dogs are endlessly inspiring where photos are concerned. Much more so than people!

Linda Sue: You might be surprised what the app detects! Plus it might distinguish between different types of gulls, for example.

Bug: It would help him learn new bird calls, as well!

Susan: We do have nests in the surrounding trees, though the only ones I ever see are pigeons! (They build big, sloppy nests.)

GZ: Aren't they great? As a potter you'd appreciate them. :)

Wilma: It's amazing how it works world-wide. I used it when we visited California, too!

Rachel: Dunnocks are a regular feature in our garden so I know to expect them.

Kelly: I remember those titmice from Florida. My brother once mentioned a tufted titmouse to a friend of his and the friend thought he'd made it up. LOL

Margaret: Animals do love to sun-bathe. I think it helps them control fleas and ticks? (In the wild, I mean.)

Debby: We really do. Every time we consider moving we think, "But the garden..."

Red: I love listening to all the bird life.

Chris: Glad you enjoyed it! That blackbird had no idea how widely its song would be heard.

Jeanie said...

I suspect your liver will survive. Just be like Olga and chill for awhile!

Boud said...

My on velvet comment was a metaphor!