Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birdwatching in bed

One of the best things about my bedroom is that it enables me to lie in bed and watch the birds fly past. Our upper floor looks across open sky, no buildings are as high or near enough to interrupt the view of the Downs one way and the sea across the Downs the other.

On Sundays I like to open the blinds, take my coffee back to bed and watch the birds. Right outside the window we have a large climbing rose and that's over run a crab apple tree and this is full of Sparrows, Finches, Tits (lol), Starlings, Robins and occasionally one of my most favourite birds, the Wren. In a distant tree I watch the Rooks, Carrion Crows and Magpies. Whilst on the flat roof we get Collar Dove and Feral and Wood Pigeons. But my favourites to watch wheel around are the Seagulls or as they are known in this house 'Charlies'. I think Gulls are majestic birds, close to they are beautifully marked around the beak with pink eye sockets and flappy feet. They sit on flat roof and calling then chatting making a Ba-ba-ba noise, if you make this noise back to them, they often answer and will come closer, cock their head on one side and beadily peer at you. The youngsters are speckled and call for their parents with a shrill whistling call - they are known (to us) as 'Whistling Willies', they run around the flat roofs, necks straining forward, calling and calling like demanding toddlers, it takes the parents longer and longer to come, till eventually they don't.

In the summer they wheel up high with the summer sky as a bright blue backdrop but with the sunshine you can't always watch them for long or see them clearly. The last few days the Charlies have been almost invisible against the snow laden white sky but this morning the sky was a leaden military grey and the Gulls look so beautifully white and graceful against such a dull backdrop. It was breathtaking and wonderful. I know lots of people dislike them and they can be a pest etc but to see such a large wild bird close to arcing across the sky is a sight to behold, such wild freedom and grace. I also think that we should allow for the fact that they were here first and we've encroached on their territory and they are coastal birds, if you choose to live by the sea on the coast then they are part of the deal. They've dive bombed me, shat on me and on my clean windows, laundry, car but I still marvel at them and feel happiness when I watch them winging across the sky.

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