4.12 am. It’s as pitch black as the city will allow. A brief birdsong rises up the cliff face of the apartment building and enters my window. The bird tries again and adds a few quiet bars. Next time, a bit more volume. I wait but the blackbird song doesn’t quite get going. All is silent again except for the occasional passing car.
4.15 pm. Another winter’s day. I step out of the building for a walk along the beach and enter a courtyard echoing with blackbird song. The piping music soars in the entire space with the simple clarity of a boy soprano in a cathedral.
I look around. There it is. One small blackbird puffed up against the cold, perched on a white balcony.
The sound follows me as I dodge across Beach Road to the beachside footpath.
Looking back, I can still hear the high clear song as it floats above the roar of peak hour traffic into the crisp, clear, wintry sky.