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Morning Reverie

Kate Ruth

9th -15th Feb

It’s cold. The red-tinged sky reflects the bitterness of this early morning.
The garden is still, frosted in the gloam. Nothing moves.
It is too cold yet.

The blackbirds are vying for territory.
I watch the two males jousting.
There is a female loitering in the buddleja.
A robin appears. I recognise him as my robin, the one who comes to oversee my gardening endeavours.
Is it raining? It is hard to see, the light is still low.
The blackcap is annoyed. He is asserting his authority, trying to patrol all the bird feeders but the resident birds are too quick for him. They know the hiding places and dart quickly from place to place. The nuthatch pair ignore him and take it in turns to eat sunflower hearts.

The lime green catkins of the hazel glisten, the goldfinch, a regular solo visitor has brought friends along with him. There is excited fluttering as the nyjer seeds are discovered.

A clear blue sky greets me, and the light is amazing. What a surprise!
The great spotted woodpecker is the first bird that is visiting today; the male is resplendent, meticulous in his livery with a vibrant red strip on the back of his head and pied body. The hazel catkins shimmer as the light dances with them.

Low haze blankets the view. The birds flicker but their colours are indistinct, camouflaged against the backdrop of the muted shrubs not yet in leaf.

The frost has returned after a week of warmer nights. I spy a menagerie of hungry birds; the tiny coal tit, the robin, blackbirds, bullfinches, goldfinches, a family of blue tits, and long-tailed tits, the nuthatch and two woodpigeons. A baby squirrel appears and feeds delicately on peanuts, taking one at a time from the feeder and eating on the grass.

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