I could keep going. I was going to do a post on all the chicks, on the birds I have come across since I have started writing this series of posts, but I realised I might never stop. Like them or loathe them, the birds, they are everywhere you go. I think even if we don’t notice them, we would miss if they were gone. It has been gratifying to see that there are so many habitats for them still too, little slices of bird heaven;on the cliffs, on country roads and in fields, in the thickets of trees along the Anne Valley here on the Waterford Coast. Hopefully we can maintain these habitats for them.
I am reading a book right now called The Genius of Birds (Ackerman, 2016),and in it there is a quote about birds from naturalist and author Louis Halle…
‘A man would be worn out in short order by such intensity of living.’
They are always alert, taut, present. Alive. Sometimes when I watch them, these descendants of dinosaurs, for that is what they are, I wonder if they are the more evolved ones, their amazing flight abilities, their constant engagement with life, their intelligence, their ability to weather hardships, to find food, from the tiniest (the wren, goldcrest) smallest to the largest (the heron, the buzzard). The way they survive together (the long-tailed tits), or work around each other (dunnocks). The way they just get on with things.
Since I have started these posts about a week ago, as I have been about my business, I have seen chaffinches, goldfinches, dunnocks, sparrows, wrens, goldcrests (my first ones), long-tailed tits (my first ones), great tits, blue tits and, in most cases, all their attendant chicks. I have seen two curlew (my first summer ones), herons, swans and their cygnets, kestrels, buzzards, swallows, seagulls, choughs, pigeons, jackdaws, magpies, hooded crows…so many crows. Wherever you go, look up and likely you will see a rook looking down at you.
Rooks are one of my big favorites. They are smart and so funny to watch too, stalking about in their feathery bloomers. When you get a closer look you see they have beautiful plumage, the material of them seems to be some substance beyond’s mans ability to machinate as well as being intensely coloured and gorgeous. I got a chance to see this up close when I found a young rook under a rookery on the coast road this week, probably hit by a car. Sad to see for sure but what amazing, beautiful creatures they are, these birds…
Ackerman, J., (2016), The Genius of Birds, London:Penguin