Every time you are near..?

One of the most famous Carpenters’ songs sparking that metaphor of joy when a bird lands nearby and the feelings that bird releases by it’s sheer tiny presence.

Birds and their songs and sounds are all around us, but when do we actually allow ourselves a few moments to tune into them or sit still and observe them close by?

The humble Robin was crowned Britain’s National Bird and I can understand why, with it’s flash of red and bobby moves, it’s a welcome delight when it boldly appears in anyone’s garden. Although our native favourites have splashes of colour – the red of the Robin, the blue and yellow of the comically called Tit’s and the sparkles of Starlings, it’s our faithful friends who often grace our presence unnoticed – the common Sparrow. Watching them closely, it’s clearly natures’ magic that has created these perfectly formed creatures, it’s fascinating to see how they reside busily in the background in harmony with us.

I’m no Bird Spotter, but I have to admit when in Seasalter my interest perks up. On the grassy banks in front of Seashells there’s a resident Kestrel that hovers masterfully in search of a snack, it’s beyond magical to witness this sleek predator at work, diving into the grass to secure it’s prey with absolute precision. It stops passers-by in their tracks and residents and guests run for their binoculars in a bid to gain a closer look at it’s speckled markings and grandeur.

In fact, close by to Seasalter is the endangered Graveney Marshes Nature Reserve, a natural bird haven flanked by salt marshes and The Swale estuary, this is where the true enthusiasts perch with their camouflage, kit and grand lenses to spot Marsh Harriers, Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, Avocets and the Redwing. I don’t even know what all of these birds look like but it’s on my bucket list to see them for real. In the meantime, I’ll be sticking to the solace of the space around the house and seeing which resident bird will next stop by to grab a crumb or steal a worm, but this time I will take that extra four seconds to indulge in and acknowledge the beauty of Britain’s finest native birds.