Become a fan of h2g2
I know you Brits keep bird diaries. I also know you watch for the first robin of spring. Did you know that our enterprising American robins keep diaries on us?
Arrived at the usual place, a little ahead of the crowd. Traffic was terrible this year – major congestion over Florida. Flamingos all over the place. Note to self: Learn Spanish. I am sure they are cursing.
Annoyed at still finding snow in North Carolina. What is going on here? Note to self: Visit resident groundhog in Raleigh, leave messages indicating disgust on his vinyl siding. Decide to make the best of it by spending night in warm conifer with several dozen of my closest friends.
Do a recce in the old stomping grounds. Only slight new construction in the neighbourhood since last year. Humans must be having a recession – good. No recession in tree growth, however. Lots of good spots left – sparrows and nuthatches seem to be the only other early arrivals.
Crows as obnoxious as ever. They do not seem to be speaking Spanish. I suspect Serbo-Croat. Note to self: Get Rosetta Stone.
Begin marking territory in area that contains: 1 tree large enough to support self, spouse, and eventual offspring, tall enough to discourage cats, dogs on leash only, a minimum of squirrels (they lower the tone of the neighbourhood, but seem to be ubiquitous). Mark territory with melodious call.
Spotted several human children of species Noisus aggravans. Hopped around on ground until they got used to me. Gave them disapproving stare to let them know who is boss around here. Not for nothing am I called an "authoritarian" bird.
Getting to know the neighbours. If that mockingbird does not stop mimicking me, I am going to get a restraining order. Or pull out a few tailfeathers.
Note to self: Although quite attractive, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers are too slick to be good nesting material. The contents, while apparently tasty to squirrels, are disgusting. Squirrels will eat anything.
Tell friends at evening confab about strange human with binoculars. Overheard him (I am sure it is a male, due to his distinctively drab colouration) calling self a "thrush". THRUSH? I am a robin, thank you very much. I do not appreciate that name Turdus migratorius much, either. It sounds vaguely rude.
I have seen the first writer of spring. He appears to be tame – lives in a treehouse behind screened fencing. Fencing duly noted, as it appears also to imprison two cats. Look all you want, cats, we are aware of your presence, though we do not deign to acknowledge it beyond an alarm call or two. Writer identified by his characteristic call of "Honey, where are my glasses?"
After due consideration, nesting site chosen. Rapprochement reached with nuthatch. She may climb my tree.
Note of outrage: Overheard writer claim that – according to some alleged "authority" of the writer species – birdsong is merely saying, "Go away! This is my bush." Only in more profane terms. Hah! What does he know about it? Our communications are much more nuanced than that, and involve breaking news on the worm front, as well as etiological speculation as to the reason for man's existence. Our conclusions on the latter subject are not flattering, I assure you.
Nonetheless, the humans around here seem harmless enough. No slingshots or bows have been sighted, and children and canines appear to be suitably restrained. Tomorrow I begin nest-building in earnest.
Good night, Dear Diary.