The First Ladybird Book of British Birds – #10 The Blackbird

It’s Day 10 of turning the pages in this Ladybird book of British Birds from the 1950s with text by Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald and illustrations by Allen Seaby:

Ladybird Book of British Birds - The Hall of Einar

“The Blackbird is the very black bird with a bright yellow beak that you see in the garden, and is one of the commonest birds in England.”

Or at least the male is.

“It is only the cock that is black with a yellow beak.”

We’ve now replaced the words cock and hen with male and female. I think I could get a Facebook ban if I kept posting the word ‘cock’ in 2018.

This 1950s Ladybird series is of British Birds yet despite the numerous mentions of England, there’s no mention of Scotland or Wales at all.

It’s forty years since I sketched Blackbirds in my childhood nature notebooks:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’d just had my thirteenth birthday and already knew about ‘sexual dimorphism’. You do at that age.

Here’s one of my favourite photographs of a cock Blackbird:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And here’s the speckled hen:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The yellow eye ring is spectacular:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Here are my close-up shots where the beautiful facial feathers are clear:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

“Abundant in gardens”, I wrote in 1976. It’s still true.

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Previous Post
Hawfinch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Hawfinch in the forest

There's been an influx of Hawfinches into the UK this autumn and winter. After checking the Devon Birds website I've been out to ... Read more

Next Post
Siskin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Siskins

It's a year since I took up bird photography properly and I can tell that I'm getting better. Partly it's the practice in ... Read more

Feel free to leave a Reply :)