The Magazine is published monthly and covers St Tudy, Michaelstow and St Mabyn.
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SPRING IN ISOLATION
One of the more positive aspects of the current unwanted and disturbing lockdown has been the extraordinarily beautiful spring weather that has come our way in late March and early April.
This has enabled us all to sit in our gardens with a completely clear conscience and with only the merest smidgen of guilt. I have been taking that opportunity from time to time and that has given me a much more focussed light on something that delights me every year: the arrival of the spring migrants of the bird world.
It began the very day after the command to stay at home, with the unmistakeable song of our first overseas visitor, the Chiffchaff, with its onomatopoeic call chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff, and on occasions, just to keep us on our toes, chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff-chaff-chiff-chiff-chaff!
This exquisite little olive-brown warbler has arrived from southern and western Europe, southern Asia and North Africa and will be with us well into September.
It was soon followed by the song of the Mistle Thrush, not a summer visitor this time but a resident bird that starts up its song in early spring. It’s a tuneful enough song but it never really gets going.
The BTO identification video describes it as if the bird keeps stopping because it has forgotten the music! Of course, this was accompanied by the more familiar Song Thrush, whose gorgeous song soars from all sorts of perches, a whole array of phrases, all of them repeated twice, three, or even four, times.
Then there was the Willow Warbler, another migrant and almost impossible to tell apart from the Chiffchaff, unless you’re an expert. The best filed mark is the colour of the legs, but they never stay still long enough to allow a good look!
Fortunately, as soon as they sing, it’s obvious, the Willow Warbler’s song a delicious mixture of trills and descending notes.
But my springtime bird book was completed on an early evening in the first days of April, when I glanced up from my reading to see what I had longed for: the first two house martins returning to their nesting site under the eaves of the Rectory garage.
Spring really was here and summer and more optimistic days cannot be far away.
(This, and much more news, is in the current magazine)