Sunrise illuminates the hidden rooms of the elder tree. In one, a blackbird grooms, starting the day with the taste of its own feathers.
Breezy and cool. A gray down feather floats up and settles on a leaf of the elder tree. A blackbird’s orange beak peeks around the trunk.
A blackbird sings then eats; a robin eats then sings—both in the elder with its clusters of berries bending lower and lower as they darken.
A blackbird probes for worms under the compost dalek, then hops over into the dead grass, gathers a beakful and sets it down again.
A juvenile blackbird sits inside the suet feeder, pecking at a ball of fat. A few feet away, the hydrangea’s hallucinatory balls of bloom.
Cold, with the faintest shimmer of precipitation. A blackbird’s metallic scold-calls. Across the way, a dog howls to be let inside.
Cardigan weather still. Cigarette smoke wafts over from the adjacent garden. Blackbird and wren trade cheerful riffs.
It’s in the blackbird’s alarm call that one best hears its cousin-ship with the American robin: that tut tut. Which is also so British.
A blue tit skulks around the bird feeder like a dapper, introverted chickadee. Nearly hidden in the elder, the blackbird turns on her nest.