This is the time of year when the thrush's song is at its most extravagant. On a fine summer's morning, Mr Thrush sets himself up on a convenient branch and sings to the sky. Unlike Mr Blackbird's, who song is lovely, Mr Thrush's is a constant, intricate repetition, as if he tries something, isn't quite satisfied, so does it again, just to make sure it's right. And he seems tireless, singing on and on and on....
Until, one morning last week, he took a short cut through our greenhouse. We found him lying on his back beneath the glass, seemingly untouched.
Mr Redpoll has been around a fair bit since he arrived here in mid-May. The first time we saw him, we thought he was a sparrow with a rather nasty wound on his head. He's a shy bird, almost as retiring as the Dunnock tribe, hopping around on the patio flagstones rather than involving himself in the unseemly Chaffinch melee on the walls where the seed is laid out.
Mr Linnet and his wife are also newcomers who seem to have taken to the area and decided to stay. Pictures of linnets show them with much pinker breasts and a pink-red mark on their forehead which is almost, but not quite as spectacular as the Mr Redpoll's. Our Mr Linnet is rather more reserved. At least he isn't at all shy, and is quite happy to argue with the Chaffinches.
All the birds are very fine in their breeding plumage but Mr Yellowhammer must take the prize for smartness. We have several yellowhammers that come into the garden, but this one is the brightest of all.