The lucky sedge warbler

A dull thud broke into the morning stillness.  “A sparrow has just hit my window, Mum”.  I stop what I am doing and step outside.  It doesn’t augur well, many a small life has ended this way.

I approach a bundle of feathers, still alive with eyes that are sharp and blazing.  I stare back at them, it is not a sparrow at all but a sedge warbler with a wide cream-coloured band that stretches from the end of his short, fine, pointed beak to the back of his neck.

Underneath he is a pale, yellow-buff colour and his wings are a neat mix of brown, black and cream.  This interesting medley of hues ends with a rust coloured tail feather.

Sedge warblers are birds of wetlands and reedbeds, rarely found in gardens.  He must have been just passing through when our paths were destined to cross.

I picked him up and held him away from a prying cat whilst he recovered.  We became acquainted, this small bird and me. I watched as his bright eyes looked skywards when birds flew overhead with his whole body elongating into a strong thin block.  Instinctively I knew he was going to be alright.

I have never held a sedge warbler before and am unlikely to do so ever again.   A privileged moment indeed, and incredible to think that this tiny, perfect spec of life will find its way home south of the Sahara Desert when his summer visit in Britain is over.

Then without warning, he took off and flew into the hedge and that was the last I saw of him. We had both had a share of luck that day.  Him to survive the collision and me to enjoy his company if only for a while.

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