'Le Merle Noir' (Blackbird) - Cameos of Birdlife #10
After a period of silence, not hearing them since February, when a few warm days encouraged us out, the Blackbird have started to sing again.
in greening woods
Early May is the best time for birdsong which often starts well before dawn; when it’s neither night nor day yet there’s a tangible change in the air and an imperceptible, almost subliminal lightening of the sky ...
[...] “I was staying at a farmhouse in the New Forest, and on the side of the house where I slept there was a large arbor vitse in which a blackbird roosted every night on a level with my window. Now, every morning at half-past three this bird would begin to sing and go on repeating his song at short intervals for about half an hour. It was very silent at that time ; I could hear no other bird ; and the sound coming in at the open window from a distance of but five yards had such a marvellous beauty that I could have wished for no more blessed existence than to lie there, head on pillow, with the pale early light and the perfume of night-flowers in the room, listening to that divine sound.” [...]
Adventures with Birds - W H Hudson
Messiaen’s interpretation of a blackbird’s song - not what Hudson heard I’m sure - but it grows on you!
The header painting - Hommage a Messiaen II 'Le Merle Noir' - is from an original oil painting by Keith Grant (born 1930), which formed part of an exhibition (Metamorphosis 2016) of his work at Chris Beetles Gallery.
The copyright rests with the artist - Keith Grant. I have sought his permission to use it in my post via Chris Beetles Gallery, but have yet to receive a reply.
Keith Grant is one of the greatest living British landscape painters. He has travelled extensively, and has confronted the elements in order to produce extraordinary, resonant images of nature, especially in the north. Recently, he has preferred to recollect his experiences in the tranquility of his studio in Norway, and work imaginatively to produce an exciting series of what he calls ‘autobiographical’ paintings.
The recording by Lars Edenius is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto - a website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world.
Enjoy the Dawn Chorus ... but if, like me, you find many bird songs seem to sound much the same - Lev Parikian has put together a great, and somewhat humorous, guide here - British Bird Songs