Monday, May 12, 2014

Four and twenty blackbirds

We were peacefully sitting in the lounge room on Saturday afternoon, relaxing after a fairly busy morning. The sun was shining.  I had doors and windows open to let some air in.  We had turned the heating off again (We turned it off a little while ago but then turned it back on one chilly evening and had forgotten to turn it back off again!).  The birds were all singing.  There was a blackbird, somewhere close by singing a beautiful territorial song.  This is my bit of fence.  All mine.  No other blackbird can have it.

Mind you, it was quite a loud beautiful song.  It must be sat on the fence right by the back door and absolutely belting it out.  A very, very loud song.  You might almost think it was in the kitchen.

I got up and headed to the kitchen to see where it was, expecting to find it on the fence by Steve and Debby's back door.

But no!  It wasn't on the fence.  It wasn't even in the kitchen.  It was in the dining room, sitting on the freezer by the window into the porch and claiming the dining room for its own.  Perfectly happy it was, sitting on the freezer.  Until it saw me come in!  AAAAAAAAARRRRGHHHHHHHHH!  A human!!!!!!!  And it tried to fly out through the (closed) window into the porch.

The Builder came through and opened the window and out the blackbird flew, ceding its territorial rights to the giant humans. No great drama, but certainly a bit unusual.

We get small birds in the house from time to time, usually in the porch or the kitchen.  You find little birds hopping around on the ground outside the back door, for there are usually tasty things lying around out there. In search of more tasty things they will come in through the back door if it is open and raid the chicken food or the seeds or whatever we have left lying about in the porch.  If the door is closed they hop in through the cat's door. But they seldom venture much further in than the porch or occasionally the kitchen.  We once had a robin in the lounge room but robins are brave explorers and this one wasn't afraid of me or The Builder and was relatively easy to usher out - and I think it had come in through the open lounge room window.  But I have never seen anything as big as a blackbird in the house before, and wouldn't ever have expected to find one in the dining room, where there are no windows or doors which open to the outside.  This was clearly a very intrepid explorer indeed!

Just as well, mind, that the cat was actually upstairs, sleeping on the windowsill of the front bedroom and oblivious to the presence of a bird in the house.  He is not, normally, a bird hunter. He's a mouse hunter for preference and only catches birds if they are in the herb garden around the pond, behaving like mice.  But he takes a dim view of them coming into the house and most definitely tries to catch them if he sees them.  This seldom helps matters along!

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, compared with that excitement. We didn't catch four and twenty blackbirds and bake them in a pie, although I think we probably could have had we been so minded.  In years gone by we have had a couple of pairs of blackbirds in the garden, and about a million starlings (along with a plethora of little birds but they tend to be around most of the year).  This year we have almost no starlings, just one pair, I think, and a large number of blackbirds.  We almost have blackbirdy turf wars along the fence sometimes.  Maybe that is why that blackbird was making a take over bid for the dining room!  But we were not minded to have blackbird pie. We had pizza and burgers and chips (all home made) and things from the Japanese supermarket instead.  The weather was mostly very pleasant with the occasional very heavy shower.  We did a bit of gardening, a bit of pottering, a bit of not very much.  It was all very pleasant and relaxing.

And now it is Monday morning, and I am looking down the barrel of the first full five day working week I have had since before Easter.  I suspect it is going to be a Very Long Haul Indeed
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