Still enjoying the luxury of not working, I was able to stay up on Thursday night through to the early hours of Friday morning watching our General Election news coverage courtesy of the BBC. Around 4.30 in the morning, David Dimbleby bemoaned the fact that dawn was about to break over London and so the results graphics beamed on to Big Ben's tower through the night would soon fade away.
It was time to turn the television off and hit the hay. About to mount the stairs, I noticed dawn's first weak light seeping through the glass front door panels and then, just for a moment, I thought I heard some music playing before realising that it wasn't radio music at all but birdsong. Curious, I ventured out into our back garden and up to the apple trees. There was absolutely no traffic noise from nearby Ecclesall Road but I was surrounded by the interwoven sounds of birds whistling, chirruping, tweeting, cawing, cooing and which ever other sounds diurnal garden birds make.
I can't tell you how full the air was with these avian voices. From rooftops, hedges, shrubs and treetops, mostly invisible, they were all announcing a new day, marking their territories, declaring their mating intentions or perhaps simply enjoying the sounds of their own sibilant melodies. It was beautiful.
Of course I have heard "the dawn chorus" before - peering out of tent flaps, walking home from late night summer parties or simply walking up the garden very early on warm summer mornings but never before did I hear it as I heard it this morning - such volume - a sweet symphony of competitive sounds linked harmoniously together. Far more interesting than interminable TV news about our hung parliament and that pseudo-Tory Clegg - "The Kingmaker".