A cold winter breeze whispers against my skin where I wait, under a star-spangled obsidian cloak. Diamonds in the night sky wink and twinkle, as far as the eye can see.

The birds sense it first, the coming of morning. In the distance, the flute-like, liquid gold song of the blackbird, mellow and melodious, a virtuoso heralding the approach of the new day.

I wrap my shawl closer around me, thin protection against the cold night air. It’s late winter, the nights are getting shorter. Spring is just around the corner, but it will be a while yet before its growing warmth is upon us.

The blackbird is soon joined by the powerful voice of the robin, whistling and trilling his upbeat song, the two birds in competition with one another but, at the same time, united in a joyful melody. I sigh with contentment, my spirits lifting further as the tiny Jenny wren adds her powerful warble to the avian ensemble, the volume of her song belying her diminutive size.

I could go back indoors now, but why miss the rest of the choir. One wouldn’t go to the theatre, only to leave after the musicians have warmed up. There is something so unique about nature’s symphony. I can almost imagine Mother Earth nodding her head in time to the musical arrangement.

The next voice in the chorus is that of the song thrush chaining melodious whistles, then grating and chattering; rinse and repeat. Repetition is his forte and his mimicry is sublime, especially when he introduces the cuckoos call to the morning chorus in the heart of winter. He’s soon joined by his cousin, the mistle thrush, his song more shrill, but with a dreamy, ethereal quality.

The sky is lighter now, a gentle gradient of midnight blue through to cerulean and the palest turquoise on the horizon, mingling with soft golden light as the sun sheds his glow upon distant skies.

The orchestra’s become a joyous cacophony, too hard to identify individual voices. And, finally, it’s accompanied by my heart, a tympanic beat welcoming the new day. 

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
11 months ago

What a lovely, descriptive, representation of early morning birdsong Carrie. I could almost hear that ‘joyous cacophony’. A really uplifting story.

Andrew Carter
Andrew Carter (@andrew-carter)
11 months ago

A lovely nature story, Carrie. I wouldn’t classify myself as a bird watcher but I do like watching them in the garden, or at sea, and I really enjoy their songs. Whether it’s a baby duck’s trilling, a currawong’s rich chorus, or a cockatoo shrieking, I love their lyrical conversations. And I can totally relate to insomnia and watching the light of dawn and listening to the warbling of doves as they call to each other from my neighbour’s roof. So I totally relate this read.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
11 months ago

What a lovely description of an early morning’s bird concert, Carrie! It is obvious that you have a lot of knowledge in the subject and you pass it on to us in an entertaining and informative way. Here, in the south of Colombia, we have a lot of birds too, and I love their singing, but I have no idea what they look like or what they are called.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
11 months ago

Hello Carrie, what a lovely expression of just one of nature’s gifts, the musical gift of the birds. And yet when you think it is also a language too. I remember some years back visiting a museum and seeing the Birds of Paradise in what can only be described as another aspect of love. But I also thought – I hope that they were natural deaths, just like those who collect butterflies, I hoped so. So back to your story. Yes nature is just more than we could ever imagine. Thank you for reminding us of that fact – Eric.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

Wow. I love birds. I love nature. That’s why I relate to this story. I love listening to the bird song and other animals especially during noon time while having relaxation after the farming. There are many kinds of birds here in my place because I am living at the foot of Mt. Malindang in the province of Misamis Occidental.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You’re most welcome. Hope to read more stories like this one here.

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
8 months ago

Carrie, I just listened to you read this story and I was enraptured. I had previously read the story and enjoyed it very much, but hearing your voice gave it a whole new dimension. I especially like the part where you said leaving now would be like leaving the theater just after the orchestra has warmed up! So beautifully expressed. Thank you for your deep love of nature, and for sharing it with all of us in a myriad of ways.

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