I heard a slightly different bird call as I was reading my overnight emails this morning and turned to face the slight gap in the louvred windows on the right-hand side of my lounge room.
It was a Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) standing on my balcony fence.
On the rare times, I’ve seen a Blackbird in my (now depleted and re-homed) balcony garden in the past, it’s usually flown away before I could get my camera out.
This morning was different. The Blackbird actually stayed for a while, so I first picked up the Canon DSLR with the 150-500mm lens and took a couple of shots.
No good, there was a bright spot behind the left-hand side of the bird and I’d forgotten to change yesterday’s high ISO of 3200 back to 800 (it’s usual setting).
I quickly got the Sony a6000 out (with its ‘kit’ lens of 55-210mm). I was lucky enough to have the time to steady my arms and breathing and hold the camera very still and fire off 3 shots before the Blackbird flew awat,.
In the first shot, it turned its head at the same moment I pressed the shutter button, so it looks amusingly headless.
The next shot was OK…..if a little too far to the right of the composition.
The adult male blackbird is very distinctive: jet black with orange-yellow beak and eye-ring. The female and juvenile are dark brown, paler and rufous on the underparts and brownish-yellow beak. The female often shows a dark-bordered whitish throat.
Its calls sound like a ‘chink’ and ‘chack’: melodious, attractive fluting song.
Instantly, its sunny, chirpy disposition became mine and I was so thankful for its song.
Earlier this week, our State’s Premier announced an additional 2 weeks lockdown and curfew to that 6-week current one which was due to end next Sunday the 13th. He also announced that businesses – cafes and ordinary shops – wouldn’t re-open until the last week in October (I think) – my memory is more dysfunctional than usual at the moment.
So no shops open for quite some time yet. I’ve now got so many errands listed on my TO DO list. Most need to be done in-store, not online. Especially my hair-cut which is in the city. I can’t do that online 😀 I did cut it myself earlier this year, but with a shoulder injury at the moment, I can’t hold my hands/arms up high.
So there’s not much activity happening in Melbourne (and its suburbs) for quite some time yet and Stage 4 lockdown will continue.
Regional Victoria has had no new cases overnight so they look more likely to step down a Stage if that continues. They are currently on Stage 3 restrictions.
The Premier’s idea is that when we get down to single-digit new cases for a consistent period of 14 days, restrictions and curfew will be lifted……… (mostly). We’re hoping interstate borders will be re-opened in the coming month(s). Surprisingly, some of our fresh food comes from interstate, although I got all I ordered online this week, whereas most of the previous weeks orders were missing items.