Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Jazz and swing in the world of birds

Spring arriving amongst the hazel

Spring arriving amongst the hazel

It’s been raining a lot today. So we stayed inside all morning, toying with paper and the PC. Rainy days are useful sometimes. We get office stuff done in daylight and that should rescue me from evenings in front of a screen. There was a brief pause in the dampness around lunch time and I zoomed out to get something proper done. Which was worthwhile, but the rain picked up again and I got thoroughly soaked.

Which has left me feeling very Novemberish – cold feet even out of soggy socks, several jumpers and a gloomy evening disappearing outside. But I know it’s spring and we have enjoyed some real warmth in the sun for, admittedly, just a few minutes over the last few days. This is England in April after all; one has to enjoy the small things.

The willow warblers arrived in Bottoms’ Corner and Centenary Wood sometime during the last seven days and as ever, it took a few repeats of the male’s call to reacquaint myself with it. The chaffinches have been singing determinedly since February and before the arrival of the willow warblers, I’ve regularly listened to the chaffinch’s song and for a moment thought “willow warbler”. However, it’s only when they do arrive that I appreciate the cool call of the willow warbler; it’s the jazz chaffinch.

I believe these tiny migrants arrive and set up shop a little while before their female colleagues and as ever I am amazed at how such a small bird could possibly fly here from sub-Saharan Africa. Not only that, but catching a fairly close look at a couple in the as yet leafless hazel this week, I was struck by their appearance of freshness and readiness for anything rather than the weary traveler one might expect, on completion of a 5000 mile flight.

And whilst I’m on musical parallels, is the chiff-chaff the swing great tit?

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