Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Listening to an Uckfield morning - Late March

A month ago I wrote Listening to an Uckfield morning, a post about the sounds I heard as I walked from my Manor Park home to the station. It's a regular walk for me. Now, at 6 a.m,.it is light but still bitterly cold. In fact, I think it is is colder than when I took the same walk towards the end of February.

Last time it was all robins and blackbirds. This time, it is mostly pigeons. As I left home, I could hear the coo-coo coo-coo of woodpigeons. Some still roosting in tall trees, others are already on the wing. As I pass a hedge of conifer by Tesco Express, there is the cheeky chatter of house sparrows.

Woodpigeon - captured by Bushnell 3rd March 2013

One good thing about the lousy weather is it gives early risers common cause. Instead of the usual nod or wave, we speak. “Freezing, isn’t it?” then there's a cheery hello from a walker who has braved the cold to exercise her dog.

While winding round Downsview Crescent, I hear some rather raucous crowing and see a small group of rooks overhead. Are they heading off to their feeding grounds? I see a large black bird perched on a TV aerial – it has a black beak, which makes it a crow.

As I head into Southview Close the sound of traffic starts to dominate. The sulky morning light lets me see as well as hear what is about. Two collared doves perch in the robinia tree near Streatfield House and seagulls are wheeling overhead. I wonder if we are due more snow? The gulls often herald a storm of some sort. A blackbird clinging to the edge of the building sings a rather mournful song. It is the only one I hear on my journey. Did the others sing earlier in the day? Or did they not bother on this dreary apology for a morning?

As I turn into the town the cooing of the woodpigeons is replaced by a more bubbling, purring noise. I am hearing the feral pigeons who find perches all over the facades and roofs of Uckfield’s higgledy piggeldy shops.

As I approach the station, I hear the hiss of a hydraulic brake. My heart sinks as I see two buses pulled up next to the pub. This is never a good sign. They are replacing trains that can't run due to an electrical fault. Over the sound of grumbling commuters is the pip pip pip of a blue tit.

Briefly in the warm to get my ticket then about 20 minutes tooing and froing then onto a bus. Looking out of the window as we trundle along the road to Haywards Heath, I see lambs. The first I’ve seen this spring.

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