Monday, 6 February 2012

What's unusual in the land of normality?

The garden is pretty much inaccessible, so I've been decorating the living room.

I had just finished doing some fiddly, straight-edge painting with my reading glasses on, when Babcia called out and asked "is this a blackbird?". I wandered into the dining room, looked out the window and then rushed and got my camera.

Even with the wrong glasses on I could see that a sparrowhawk (krogulec) was having its dinner just in front of the window.

Since we are supporting large numbers of tree sparrows (Mazurka, singular) - up to 40 at a time, and great tits (Sikora Bogatka) - up to 20 at a time, I was primarily concerned that one of our two blue tits (Sikora Modra) was the victim. They are still here.

Shortly after, I started getting glimpses of a bird I didn't recognise. It was roughly the shape of a blackbird, but it had a white belly and spots, so I thought it might be a thrush: a turdus of some sort anyway.

Eventually I decided it was probably a fieldfare (kwiczoł), a bird that I only knew by name and wouldn't have been able to recognise. It was this photo of the next garden that decided me.

One of the surprise plants of the garden has been the wild rose that had been the stem of a standard rose that had died (along with all of the others in the neighbourhood) in its first winter. This had a beautiful display of pink roses in the summer, followed in the autumn by deep red hips. I had wondered why none of the birds were eating them. The field fare has been doing just that.

It is a migratory bird that usual comes to Poland in March or April (says the book), so not only have I not seen one before, it may be rare this early in the year.

Looking at the book, I also found that breeding blackbirds (kos) are also migratory, which may explain why I only see a single male and a couple of juveniles at this time of the year. This is the first time I have seen one in the birdtable, but then it is quite new.

None of these may be in anyway portentous, but how about a column of fire appearing above the rising sun? Is this going to be a year of portents with a bloody rain and milk and butter turning to blood (Britain, 685)?

"1647 ... in which manifold signs in the heavens and on the earth announced misfortunes ... and unusual events. ... In Warsaw a tomb was seen over the city, and a fiery cross in the clouds." (Sienkiewicz, With Fire and Sword.)

Haven't I had enough excitement already?

No comments: