Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bird orchestra

6.43pm. Dusk, time to shut the hens in. Grey fleecy clouds puff about overhead. There is a gentle 'plip' or two as leaves fall from the sycamores in the dingle and my feet scuffle through those already fallen. Do I need a torch? I have one anyway.

In essence the evening is still, but what is that racket? Over in the dark conifers of Badnage Wood it sounds like a birdie riot has broken out. The panicky cries of a thousand pheasants going to roost and the metallic 'caws' and 'gronks' of rook and raven split the air. In the nano-seconds between screech, caw and gronk there's the merest 'whoo' of owl too. I listen carefully - this time to the sounds from the garden. The whistle of a wren in the logpile and unidentified tweets from titmice in the trees are delicate grace notes in this crazy bird symphony.

I listen up for the mew of a buzzard - but that's the sound of daytime and here we are at dusk. On some nights like this a vixen yelps too; an eerie, eerie sound that makes me shiver at the thought of the wildness out there.

We, who are so clever, think we have this world tamed, but even in this small corner the night is still a terrifying place for the denizens of field and forest; the prospect of sharp tooth and claw ever present.

I shut my hens in most carefully.

7 comments:

muddyboots said...

Haz & myself were walking down the the beach late yesterday and we had the bird noise too, this time hug flocks of wading birds doing their best to impersonate a large shoal of fish all the while thie screaming calls filling the air with sound. amazing.

her at home said...

Our constant evening sound before the night long call of numerous owls putting the world to rights is the rabble rousing calls of a vast flock of starlings in the Bamboo I can never decide if its siomeone callign a register or the equivalent of the Waltons at bedtime.. night jimbob...night momma..

Wipso said...

Really enjoy reading your blog. Some people are oblivious to the world around them. Like you, I love to listen to nature. A x

Twiglet said...

Too right - we think its our world until we stop to look and listen and realise that nature continues despite our interference.

rachel said...

That would have been the Grey Ghost-Wolf of Trelystan, prowling, prowling......

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Well I do the other end of the day - just at dawn I was walking the dog this morning and a lone buzzard was mewing in the treetops while pheasants squawked and grumbled in the undergrowth.

Pondside said...

How well you put us right there, in the twilight. The giant cedars around out chicken coops are too-convenient hiding places for the large birds that would like to swoop down on our little birds - very scary.