‘In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.’ Robert Lynd.

10 Jan

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

dangerzoneAt this time of the year one of the very first sounds I hear when I wake in the morning is the screech of a black cockatoo.  (There is no not-hearing it actually.  I have read that a cockatoo screech can reach up to 135 decibels.   Multiply that by a a flock of about 30-40 birds and that will give you some idea . . . )  

So used am I to hearing them now that, on a normal working day at least, the early morning cacophany barely registers.  I am hardly on my feet before my head takes over and immediately starts reeling off lists of chores and jobs that I need to get done that day.  A bunch of noisy birds don’t usually get much of a look in . . .

This morning the girls and I were out and about even before the birds were up.  We were walking along the sea wall just as it was starting to come light, and it was cool and calm and quiet.  Peaceful.  At least until the silence was pierced by one lone cockatoo announcing she was now awake, thank you very much, and everyone else should be too!

Within seconds there was a answering screech from a nearby tree, and then another and another until the air was filled with their raucous din.  I stood and watched as the whole flock slowly began to lift, one by one, from the trees and into the air, wheeling in lazy circles and stretching their wings (and their lungs) as they made their way across the river.

Pretty spectacular.  It’s not like I haven’t seen it before, I have.  But this morning I paid attention, really paid attention—to their colour, their sound, their joyful silliness . . .

I need to remember this morning. Next week, when I am back at work after my lovely holiday, before my head becomes full of things I have to do and places I have to be, I am going to remind myself to take a moment each morning to just think about how lucky I am to live in a place where I get to see (and yes, even hear) gorgeous black cockatoos every morning.

Surely my working day can wait just a couple more minutes for that . . .



Posted by on January 10, 2017 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “‘In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.’ Robert Lynd.

  1. stevetalbot51

    January 10, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Yes Sal, couldn’t agree more, we are surely very lucky to live where we live 🙂
    Lovely sketch too, how did u get that bird to sit still for you for so long?


    • sallyinthehaven

      January 11, 2017 at 7:09 am

      The bird was eating so sat there long enough to get the initial sketch done – the colour and detail was filled in with the aid of a photo. 😉


  2. C. C. Cedras

    January 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Not beautiful and exotic, but your description fits with the ravens who roost near my home. They wake each other up just that way, raucously, and leave for their daily rounds. We’ve learned how to cohabit over the years.


    • sallyinthehaven

      January 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      I think ravens come from the same ‘family’ of birds as our magpies – really loud and really smart. They say they never forget a person who feeds them – or a person who has been mean to them! The old movie ‘The Birds’ freaked me out years ago – I am now nice as I can be to all birds – even the loud ones . . . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • C. C. Cedras

        January 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm

        I’m convinced the family connection with magpies is there. Crows, of course.


        • C. C. Cedras

          January 10, 2017 at 11:25 pm

          Well, that got cut off. I meant to say, Crows too, of course — like ravens, and magpies, are scary smart and have prodigious memories. I’m not fond, but can tolerate as long as they don’t swoop down and carry Fergus off.


          • sallyinthehaven

            January 11, 2017 at 7:11 am

            They wouldn’t dare touch Fergus – I am sure they remember the incident with the bear – and the fact that you own a gun . . .

            Liked by 1 person


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