It is strange how some noises can rouse you from a deep sleep to full alertness in a moment. This morning I heard one such noise, a strange voice at about 03:30, the odd thing about this one is that it was it was a blackbird (Turdus merula) singing. At this time of year in Edinburgh the sun rises at 04:26, but it starts to get light about an hour earlier and so that’s when the dawn chorus starts.

Normally the dawn chorus doesn’t bother me too much it is a daily event in spring and early summer, I am used to it and if it does wake me I use roll over and go back to sleep. This time was different the blackbird singing was a stranger, it wasn’t one of the locals which I was used to. The song was less complex and had slightly different tone, possible a juvenile male trying out his voice for the first time or maybe a vagrant who has moved in from another area, although it is rather early in the year for such migrations. Either way I lay and listened to it for half and hour or so before going back to sleep.

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