A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Saturday, 31 December 2011


Blackbirds are looking magnificent at present and there are at least three male blackbirds in our small back garden despite the RSPB telling us that the males are solitary birds. Their sharp alarm call is heard as we appear and they quickly skulk off into the bushes. When we are indoors they can be seen sitting on strategic hedge twigs watching what goes on like this male.
They are a very common bird in most gardens, one reference we found gives the total as more than six million pairs in the British Isles.
Blackbirds appear in British folklore, writing and of course the nursery rhyme "Sing a song of sixpence". For those children who don't like to think of the 24 blackbirds being baked alive it seems that the answer is in the timing. The pastry crust was pre-baked in the Tudor kitchen and the birds added just before the "surprise pie" was brought to the table.

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