The blackbird sings its song to a variety of accompaniments.
Yesterday morning, in relative silence after the huge rumbling,shaking and flashing thunderstorms which crashed over Melbourne overnight, the song was a tuneful counterpoint to the steady hissing of rain and tyres on the wet roads. I hoped the bird had been safely sheltered from the elements.
A few days ago, it was singing along to the arrhythmic hammering of the carpenters on the nearby building site. If I knew more about music, I think I could talk about jazz.
Sometimes, I hear it filtering through ‘builders’radio’ which is less than pleasant for me but I suspect that the bird doesn’t notice.
My favourite time to hear the simple, pure song is in the dark early morning when there is no light, just sound.
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.