It’s a beautiful day up on Trendlebere Down, an area of heathland on the east of Dartmoor in Devon. There’s a lilting song coming from the top of a tree. It’s a tiny yellow bird; a Warbler. It can’t be a Chiffchaff with that song. It must be a Willow Warbler:
Back home I look for the Willow Warbler in Bird Portraits by Charles Tunnicliffe in the small album of Brooke Bond tea cards, originally from 1957:
It captures their character perfectly:
I love the phrase “Joyous descending trill.”
Back in 1976 I noted seeing one in my childhood nature notebooks:
They are such dainty birds.
Looking through my nature notebooks I find this entry from 1977 about the Willow Warbler, with my pencil crayon drawing:
It was 15 April 1977 when I saw a Willow Warbler in the apple tree which grew my parents planted in our back garden, from an apple seed, when I was born. It’s not a bad drawing for a child. Here’s my equivalent digital photograph from 2018:
It’s taken me half an hour to get this close to this Willow Warbler. It’s time to just stand in the middle of the heath and enjoy its joyous descending trill.