Another sign of spring.
The sound of Red-Winged Blackbirds buzzing and trilling is one of the things I associate with spring. They have descended en masse into the Don Valley, and are settling into the Brickworks in preparation for summer. They are still skittish and flighty at this point; it will be a while before they are accustomed to humans again. As always they are champion models – they really know how to pose. You just have to be fast enough to catch them because they never stay still for more than a few seconds.
The Don Valley Brickworks was once a brick-making factory (hence the name) but in the last few years the disused facility has been turned into a small conservation area, full of little ponds and grassland. Set in a sheltered branch of the Don Valley, it is a sort of combination of wetland and sunken garden. Blackbirds love it.
This particular Blackbird decided to settle on a pussywillow bush beside one of the ponds. He looked pretty good there, I thought.
This link gives you a fairly good idea of what the Brickworks sounds like at this time of year: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/red-winged_blackbird/sounds