18th February on a snowy morning and this male blackbird has snow crystals on the tip of his bill, from feeding on sunflower seeds laid out on a garden wall.
February, the hungry gap when food is scarce and perhaps the thorns close to his breast suggest that life is full of difficulty.
On Tweet of the Day on an April morning Bill Oddie spoke of an eye ring 'yellow as a spring daffodil. HIs bill 'glowing like a buttercup.' Blackbird, a garden visitor, with images of garden flowers.
J A Baker saw the blackbird as ' a puritan with a banana in his bill.'
Riding in a glass coach,
The shadow of his equipage
Well, I can see how it might happen.
Crepuscular light and the blackbird perched on his familiar fence post. His stillness was remarkable. I shifted to consider his profile, and doubt crept in. Two cats grappled and screeched and even that didn't rouse him. Because he wasn't there. The angle of fence posts in fading light was confusing.
'Tweet of the Day' has such a following that the BBC runs through a range of presenters with backgrounds scientific or poetical, a blend of both or nothing special. Two minutes that can be informative, illuminating, infuriating. And puzzling. Listening to Tweet of the Day dunlin, I couldn't match the call played to what I'd heard and it took me some time to track down a recording of the trill on a British Trust for Ornithology video. Their ID videos are great.
As for my pictured blackbird, I'd like to know if he has a mate and where they're nesting. This cold and wet spring is causing havoc for hill farmers so how has it affected the breeding programme of garden birds?