A recent poll nominated the robin as the nation’s national bird, a worthy winner and it was top of my list.
However, it was a hard choice between the robin and third place, which was the blackbird.
To my eyes, while the robin is no doubt a beautiful little bird, especially in the snow, an adult male blackbird is stunning simplicity, with its all over black plumage and that orange bill and ring around its eyes.
A more relevant reason for choosing the blackbird is because of its nature.
Standing by an open kitchen window early one morning recently, I could hear a blackbird singing, and it did so for the best part of 20 minutes.
It has almost certainly the most familiar song of all our native birds.
More to the point, it sings at any time of day or night, that same melodious song, come rain or shine, even when thunderstorms threaten.
How often do we hear a blackbird late in the evening, at the very top of an aerial or a church spire or tree singing away when all the other birds have gone to roost?
They seem to be forever cheerful.
Isn’t it a pity the human race can’t behave like blackbirds?
What a wonderful world we would live in.
Sapphire Ridge, Waterlooville