Monday, 9 September 2013

Autumn Coming And The Rook Is Singing

It have been a good summer with hot, sunny days that finally give me squash and beans in the vegetable patch. A normal summer on this sea-surrounded bony peninsular with its mists, dews and granite hedges... do mean that precious few luscious vegetables survive the onslaught of snails and slugs. Believe me. I have tried most (non-poisonous) strategies known to woman. But at the moment, I count five squashes and some precious borlotti beans hanging from their canes.

The birds are keying into autumn activity. If you watch them you can realise that all that nesting and mating stuff doesn't just happen in spring. The sparrows in the yard have fledged their last brood  but ... The other day The Old Man did lean a ladder against the clematis that climbs the house wall in order to check out the sparrow nesting box above. Two sparrows immediately fly round him into the climber with a squawk and a chirp. The Old Man do back off immediately, thinking there must still be young in a nest in the climber itself. But after several days we come to the conclusion that the sparrow pair are minding the territorial shop. As our next door neighbour do say... they have "put their towels on the sun lounger"... staking a claim for next year's nest site.

Meanwhile... the rook do take up his singing post on a chimney or a TV aerial and he do sing his rookishly joyful song. No. Not "Caw-Caw" but a definite gruff and screamy song... It do have a rhythm and a repeat and a shape . "Ya-Ya. Yee-yeeh.." he shrieks. "Cruk-cruk.." he croons.
I wish I could give you a web-link to a recording of a rook's song but all everybody records is the mass calling in a rookery. What a shame. I love to hear the song of the rook. It is deeply uncharming and deeply celebratory.

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