Sunday, 8 May 2011

Birdsong

Before much more time passes, just one more reflection on our recent holiday in the Hebrides

Oronsay looking over Islay and Jura
Just a few days ago we were on an RSPB guided walk from Colonsay across the Strand-a mile wide stretch of water which becomes accessible by foot for just a few hours each day-to the tiny island of Oronsay. It was a magical day with spectacular weather and truly wonderful views of the neighbouting island of Jura (where George Orwell completed the manuscript of 1984).

So  many birds were pointed out, including choughs, peregrines, lapwings, snipe, willow warblers and even a corncrake (heard but not seen). Indeed it was lovely to have various birdsong identified. Simon Barnes is an excellent journalist who writes  in the London Times. He has just completed a book on birdsong and wrote in yesterdays paper,

Birdsong doesn't really need to be so beautiful. Not in terms of pure gene-surviving reductionism. So why does it bother?
A rather scary Peregrine!
Indeed so. There is much beauty in this world (in the midst of so much sadness and pain). The extravagance of nature is breathtaking. There really doesn't need to be such a vast and varied universe! Although some find the vastness and complexity of it all leads them away from a creator God, ('gene surviving reductionism??'), I have to say I find it an 'intimation of immortality'.
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