There’s a male Sardinian warbler, Curruca melanocephala, in the bushes. It seems quite agitated. I love the scratchy sound they make in the scrub. This one was in Parco della Caffarella in Rome, a place with plenty of scrub for it to hide in.
Melanocephala means black-headed. The Italian name is Occhiocotto, which means Cooked-Eye. It’s a perfect name for them, as well as showing how Italians relate everything in their life to food.
It takes a while before I realise that there’s a reason this male is so agitated. He’s got a freshly fledged brood of youngsters to care for. He’s finding food for them, watching for predators and guiding them through the scrub so they don’t attract too much attention.
Aren’t the fledglings wonderful, with their still-soft yellow gapes and fresh flight feathers?
He’s back with them now on a small branch, providing the safety and security they need.
I can’t help but identify with him.