Poetry Month, April 2018: Song Thrush: Musical Magic, a Poem; Description & Facts about Thrushes

Updated on May 6, 2018
annart profile image

Ann loves to write poetry and stories. Current poetry about certain themes, e.g. Trains & English Counties, Poetry Month, Travel & beyond.

Song Thrush

Thrilling, trilling Thrush
Thrilling, trilling Thrush | Source

The Day of the Song Thrush

Monday 16th April 2018; Spring deigned to arrive, albeit tentatively, fighting a few showers. I decided to tackle some long-overdue gardening. As I emerged from the back door, a joyous sound met me, piercing the air, overriding all background noises.

I searched the willow trees above me, following the varied song of chatter, whistle, melody, scolding, soft warbling and muttering. After a while I found the creator of these wondrous notes; in the branches, against a grey sky, was a bird which looked like a thrush.

Should I go to fetch the binoculars or just stand and enjoy before the song-bearer flew? Entranced, I stayed a while longer, then took a risk and ran to grab them, focussed in on the bird and found that it was indeed a thrush. I knew what a thrush looked like but had never knowingly seen a song thrush before; I thought this must be one as it sang its little heart out like no other bird I’d ever heard.

I took another risk, rushed indoors once more to get my camera and pray that a photo shot would be mine.

I could hear the song indoors, such was its volume, so followed it once more and my accommodating feathered friend had moved to a more suitable perch, standing clear against the sky.

He (or she?) sang all morning, for the delight of anyone who wished to listen. He took up his refrain once more later in the day. The evening vibrated to his melody, his poem, his own song. I couldn’t stop smiling.


Musical Magic

As I opened the door, it flooded my senses,

piercing the sunlit garden, a melody of songs;

piping high and long, reaching for a response,

whistling refrains to a mate, hardly waiting for the echo,

chirruping fancies with sheer joy, alive

now that Spring had finally arrived.


Standing entranced, I searched the foliage,

no idea of what I’d find, hearing this never before;

a softer, low warble, reflecting quieter thoughts,

regrouping vocal chords, ready to belt forth over and over

a trilled crescendo to claim his presence, his life,

a celebration, end to winter strife.


Chirp, cheep, peep, chirrup, varying his pace,

then long shrill notes piping to the sea shore,

swaying to twitters, not a care for all else

save the sun’s rays, the clear air and Spring’s advance

calling to instinct’s urge to shout as a town crier

claiming territory, his heart a-fire.


I let it move my heart, body and soul,

accepted his example; living, working hard,

while celebrating nature’s gift, enveloping its presence.

I captured him, only on camera, careful to stay quiet,

avoiding any sudden moves, fearing his swift flight,

to keep for ever his song in sight.


AFC 2018


More about the Song Thrush

'Its original scientific name is ‘Turdus philomelos’. The generic name, ‘Turdus’ is the Latin for ‘thrush’ and the ‘philomelos’ refers to a character in Greek, Philomela, who had her tongue cut out, but was changed into a singing bird. Her name is derived from the Ancient Greek ‘philo’ (loving) and ‘melos’ (song).

A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers have declined markedly on farmland and in towns and cities. It's smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head.'


Blackbird

Mrs Blackbird, Sunbathing in our Garden
Mrs Blackbird, Sunbathing in our Garden | Source

Turdus merula (Blackbird)

'The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the most striking garden birds. One of the most common UK birds, its mellow song is also a favourite. The cheeky blackbird is my favourite; a regular visitor and quite tame when we’re sitting out in the garden. His song, too, is unmistakable.'


Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

'Slightly smaller and slimmer than a blackbird - male ring ouzels are particularly distinctive with their black plumage with a pale wing panel and striking white breast band. The ring ouzel is primarily a bird of the uplands, where it breeds mainly in steep sided-valleys, crags and gullies, from near sea level in the far north of Scotland up to 1,200m in the Cairngorms.

Breeding begins in mid-April and continues through to mid-July, with two broods common, and nests are located on or close to the ground in vegetation (typically in heather), in a crevice, or rarely in a tree. The young are fed a diet consisting mainly of earthworms and beetles.'


Mistle Thrush

Source

Turdus viscivorus (Mistle Thrush)

'The Mistle thrush is is a pale, black-spotted thrush - large, aggressive and powerful. It stands boldly upright and bounds across the ground. In flight, it has long wings and its tail has whitish edges. It is most likely to be noticed perched high at the top of a tree, singing its fluty song or giving its rattling call in flight.'


Fieldfare

Source

Turdus pilaris (Fieldfare)

'Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, much like a mistle thrush in general size, shape and behaviour. They stand very upright and move forward with purposeful hops. They are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. These straggling, chuckling flocks which roam the UK's countryside are a delightful and attractive part of the winter scene.'


Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

'The redwing is most commonly encountered as a winter bird and is the UK's smallest true thrush. Its creamy strip above the eye and orange-red flank patches make it distinctive.

They roam across the UK's countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields. Only a few pairs nest in the UK. It is listed as a Schedule 1 species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act.'


Definition of 'song'

  • short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung
  • archaic: poetry
  • the musical phrases uttered by some birds...., forming a recognisable and repeated sequence, used chiefly for territorial defence or for attracting mates


Human Song

Most of us enjoy singing, the talented ones amongst us have wonderful voices and can delight others with their choral abilities. Singing is used to express many emotions, for entertainment, to lull a child to sleep, to revel in purely for its own effect. Singing and music can make us feel happier, be it our own singing or someone else’s. Our own singing is known to improve our health and feeling of wellbeing.

So let’s get out there, fill our lungs and sing with volume and confidence. Follow the example of our song thrush and let yourself go!


Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Ann Carr

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 2 weeks ago from SW England

        Hi, Nikki. Thanks for a second visit to my hubs and for your comments.We now have wonderful spring weather and the birds are singing even more because of it!

        Ann

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 2 weeks ago from London

        Loved the arrival of spring, and your poetry on Thrushes was amazing, what can be more wonderful to get all together in one plate, bit of information and bit of songs.

        I love birds and love to hear them chirping in the morning when spring arrives.

        Thanks for sharing close to your heat.

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 2 weeks ago from London

        Loved the arrival of spring, and your poetry on Thrushes was amazing, what can be more wonderful to get all together in one plate, bit of information and bit of songs.

        I love birds and love to hear them chirping in the morning when spring arrives.

        Thanks for sharing close to your heat.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 3 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, Jo, for your kind comment and your interesting input. I love all the birds and having such a visit is special. I love the fact that you have 'tourists'! Brilliant!

        Ann

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 3 weeks ago from Tennessee

        As I'm sitting here on our hill in Tennessee reading your wonderful article I can hear the song of a bird outside. I know it's song by now, the beautiful cardinal. Thrushes are not common here, but this time of year we do have more species of birds that are migrating. Tourists I call them.

        Loved the article and the poem.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thanks for a second visit, Liz, and for your comment. Yes, the weather can't quite make up its mind, can it? We have sunshine today but still a nip in the air. At least we know it's on the way!

        Ann

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 4 weeks ago from UK

        This is a lovely poem, set in an article full of information. It makes the arrival of spring seem all the more real. Yesterday I was wondering if we had fast forwarded to summer!

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, Flourish. This Song Thrush certainly was heralding Spring time for all to hear!

        Your garden sounds delightful and it's always interesting to learn about different species in other countries or variations of similar ones.

        Good to see you and thanks for the visit and your kind comment.

        Ann

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

        Your poem was beautiful and perfect for this time of year. I love birds and spend a small fortune feeding them and the squirrels. We have Zeus feeders in our backyard and attract a variety of them, many cardinals and robins, but these that you profiled were a little different for me.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, Verlie, for your lovely comment. It was sweet joy, indeed.

        I appreciate your support, especially as you are such a good poet.

        Ann

      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 4 weeks ago from Canada

        Ann, I'm so happy you were able to photograph the Song Thrush! What a beautiful photo! And your poem captures the sweet joy of hearing and seeing, in the moment. I can so relate. Gorgeous page.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Gypsy Rose Lee: Thank you for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

        Ann

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 4 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

        Thank you for the delightful hub about the songbirds and your lovely poem.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, manatita. Yes, any song is great and the birds' are the best.

        I don't follow the London Marathon as running on tarmac does not seem sensible to me! I know too many people with bad knees due to 'healthy' exercise running round the streets.

        Sounds great listening to the birdsong in Kenya. Enjoy!

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you Linda. I appreciate your support and your multiple visits lately. My mind goes off at a tangent when I start thinking of what to add to any poem!

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, Glenis. Yes, I couldn't believe my luck either! I wanted to stand there all day but had to get at least a bit of gardening done. I was even luckier that it came back later. I've heard him a couple of times since so I'm hoping that he's adopted my little neck of the woods (literally!).

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, John. I'm flattered that you like my poetry, as you are one of the best poets on HP. I started adding things to any poems just to 'beef up' the article but then decided that connected items were worthy of a mention. Glad you like it.

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Hello Jackie! I'm glad you've identified your visitors, though I'm not sure of the connection to the Song Thrush as the world map only shows new world species (see my answer to Eric). However, it's great to have them on your bird table. Any unknowns pique our curiosity. Thanks for your visit and input today!

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you Eric. Does that mean you have a colourful female blackbird? Ours is just brown with a few flecks, not nearly as striking as the male in his jet black with orange bill.

        I'm happy that I spurred you into action to look it up. I didn't notice how they're spread worldwide but I'm off to do that now!

        Ann

        PS Apparently you have 'New World Blackbirds' which are unrelated to the Merula and are colourful.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 4 weeks ago from london

        How I love singing! It seems to be one of the melodies of the soul.

        The song thrush is a great bird of sounds and verses. Since you are a lover of nature, then it's right up your street, so to speak.

        You have binoculars, eh? You remind me of Deb Hirt. Don't know how she is doing these days.

        I can hear birds singing now, just outside the Terrace at the YMCA in Kenya. Nice day for it too. Hope you enjoy the London marathon. Love to all at home.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I enjoyed reading your poem and the information about thrushes very much. It's lovely to read an article that is both creative and educational.

      • Glenis Rix profile image

        GlenR 4 weeks ago from UK

        So lucky to have a song thrush in your garden. I can’t recall the last time that I heard the beautiful song. It’s lovely in our turbulent time to take pleasure from those things in the natural world that touch the soul and inspire creativity. Well done, Ann.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Ann, you are doing a great job in flying the flag for Poetry Month. I totally enjoyed this ...your wonderful poetry and well-written prose just complimented by all the interesting information about thrushes. Great job.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 4 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

        I have a couple of these Thrushes at my window bird feeder every day and had no idea what they were. Thanks for the lesson.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Well this made me look it up for our region. Just occasional sightings of the Hermit here. But I could swear my son and I saw a Turdus Murela. The female struck us as the most colorful plumage which is rare.

        Loved the part about songs.

        Of course your poem will stay in my head and heart all day.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you so much, Sally. I wish more people were in tune with nature too; it's surprising how many hardly notice it. I make sure I point out all sorts to my grandchildren. I would hate them to lose out to the marvels around them.

        Ann

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you Mary! I'm glad you feel like bursting into song!

        Ann

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 4 weeks ago from Norfolk

        A beautiful piece of writing. I love how much you are in tune with nature and the world around you. If only everyone would take the time to enjoy it as much as you and I do. Very well done!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 4 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        What a beautiful day it is to have that singing greet you. You did respond with your heart and burst out in your own poetry. It's very inspiring. Time to break out into song.

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        You have no idea how much that means to me, bill! Thank you. I'm thrilled.

        Spring is definitely here today - warmth and sunshine and washing on the line. I'm re-energised!

        Ann

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but I think you are one of the most entertaining, educational, and talented writers on HP. I love the format you use to take us through a topic of your choice. Just very well-done, my friend. Very well-done indeed!

        Have a splendid Spring day!

        bill

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Thank you, Frank. The run is slowing a little now whilst I try to create more. I'm starting to panic! However, I'll do my best and hope to get 30 by 30th.

        Ann

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 4 weeks ago from Shelton

        funny I didn't know what a thrush was LOL, but now I see it's a musical.. or a singing bird.. what I'm trying to say is simple.. you not only entertain us with the poetry, but you educate us with fun facts.. amazing run for you Ann.. how can you keep topping it.. bravo

      • annart profile image
        Author

        Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

        Hello Devika! Glad you enjoyed this. They do make us feel good, don't they?

        Thank you for your visit today. I need to catch up with some of your hubs too!

        Ann

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Hi Ann, I enjoyed this amazing hub! Birds sing all day in our garden and makes my day feel cheerful.

      working