I'd like to be a twitcher but I'm too
old and stiff,
To hang around in cold and rain, or clamber down a cliff,
But I can watch so many birds, as I have eyes to see,
And count them midst my blessings, as they flit from tree to tree.
Folk talk about 'dawn choruses' but them
I never hear,
But once I'm up and doing I like to lend an ear;
And watch the early birds at work, although it makes me squirm,
To see them playing tug-o-war with the hapless early worm.
The blackbird from the highest chimney
heralds in the spring,
With bursts of song so rich and rare that make the echoes ring;
How different then, when chicks hatch out, in lowly need of food,
The wheedling tones they use to beg for titbits for their brood.
The fussy starlings squawk and strut
with imitating gait,
But when there's any scarps thrown out, they're sure to 'clean the
In autumn time they gather round, a 'fringe' on every tree,
Till, at a signal, so it seems, as one - they rise and flee.
As for the humble sparrow, they're
always chattering there,
And serve as a reminder of kind Providence's care;
For though they fight and squabble, our world would poorer be,
Without their cheery chirpings from housetop, bush and tree.
The acrobatic swallow gives a show of
To watch them dive and whirl around in free and glorious flight;
And see their preparations as they preen upon the wires,
For journeys into distant lands, with zest that never tires.
The robin red breast next appears, when
everything looks grey,
To cheer with his melodious song and coloured bib so gay;
And every now and then some tits go peeking on the tree,
At insects, which we must admit no human eye e'er sees.
There's many more who pay a call, but
don't intend to sty,
A pair of pigeons come each year, and linger for a day,
I see a thrush or chaffinch, and a siskin now and then;
This tiny bird's so busy as he creeps along the wall,
It's hard to reconcile his size with his clear resounding call.
There's others too, a crow, a gull, a
water-hen and tern,
but, for the most exotic types I've no desire to yearn;
For everytime I look outside, some feathered friend I see,
And in my fancy fly away with them. unfettered, free.
"You've a lot of sky in
Caithness", said a young chiel from 'e Sooth;
But whether said in sarcasm or as the honest truth;
The fact remains there's nothing much between us and the 'lift',
No sky-scrapers or fact'ry chimneys belching smoke adrift,
but who would wish for busy streets an' towering city blocks;
When here in peace and quietness we can roam around the rocks,
Admiring cliff an' coastline, an' golden yellow sand,
An' lovely lochs wi' burns an' views flowing by, inland.
Though trees were scarce, we now can see the forests growing fast,
Transforming bleak-in valleys, we look with eyes that see, We'll find
there's nothing lacking in this country of the free.
What if our gaze may wander to the wide expanse of sky,
There could come inspiration as we set our sights on high.