On 20th March, just before dawn, (sometime between 5 am and 5.30 am,) I heard the first tentative call of what in a few weeks will become the dawn chorus. I did not recognise the bird. It was only a few phrases, repeated two or three times. No-one else joined in and he lapsed again into silence.

It reminded me of being in New Zealand with John and Rory. We were in North Island on our way to Russell where we were going to stay in a hotel for a few days (we were 5 weeks touring New Zealand and I felt the need of a bath and comfort; the boys were willing enough because it gave them TV access for some critical world cup football games). So we were making our way up the coast and we stopped in rather a disorganised camp site and parked our camper van under a tree. It turned out that this tree was used every morning by the resident tuey, a bird slightly bigger than a blackbird and with a white bib under his chin, who has the most magnificent voice, rather like a clarinet. He would arrive each morning and begin his musical exercises by clearing his throat and then he would begin to go through his notes, slowly and methodically for all the world like an opera singer. After a few minutes of single notes, he would begin to string them together, repeating each phrase several times. Eventually he would feel his performance to be sufficiently good to launch into his full song, which was truly wonderful. We have nothing to compare with it here.

Our local bird’s tentative beginnings in no way compare to the impressive aria delivered by the tuey, but it is a beginning and it filled me with joy. Spring is coming. Have you seen the magnificence of the magnolias this year? And so as my mother used to say (which I thought very amusing at the time but now I understand exactly what she meant): We have survived the winter!

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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