May 16, 2019: Wood

The dawn chorus is a wonderful thing.

A life-affirming, musical start to your day. If you want your day to start at the crack of dawn, that is. Or it’s something to listen to as you try to get back to sleep because you’ve awoken too early due to poorly-lined curtains.

I – because I was cool – used to have a record of bird song that I got free with a magazine about birds that I have no idea how I got. I think my dad “won” them from somewhere which, in laymans terms, means someone was throwing them out and he thought “My son doesn’t know enough about sparrows just yet…” and brought them home.

And I used to play the record on my tatty old record player which, unsurprisingly, was also won from somewhere. Through two large (won) speakers. And I would listen to that. Or some other musical sounds records that had also been “won”. Or a 7″ single of one of Sonia’s songs. I cannot stress how fricking cool I was.

But that doesn’t mean I could pick out a bird song. I can’t. I have no idea what any of them are. I don’t hear one and immediately know it’s a sparrow or a tit or whatever. I have no idea. I may have heard them all, but my brain doesn’t retain that information.

Apart from one.

The wood pigeon.

If the dawn chorus was a choir singing in beautiful harmony, the wood pigeon is a male singer just going through puberty so his voice is in that breaking stage where sometimes it’s deep and sometimes it’s squeaky. And he’s just shouting “I can sing too! I can sing too!”

Over and over and over.

And everyone sings on. But he’s still there. Insisting he can sing.

And everyone tries to sing louder and more delightfully. But you can still hear him, “I can sing too!”

When I lived at my parents my nemesis was a wood pigeon.

There’s a contender here too, it would appear.