Morning has Broken

by Penny M

It’s one of those ‘what-came-first, the bird-or-the-egg?’ days. The Hadedas (or maybe this time the Wild Geese) are tap dancing on our roof as if somebody fitted them with clogs and toe taps. Without looking, I know they are launching themselves from the roof and swooping into the valley below. From bedroom level, it’s common to catch sight of plump underbellies and wings close enough to catch a feather.

I dutifully refrain from whingeing at the impudence of these tree-top refugees who wake me so rudely with their repertoire.

The voice of my ‘love-and-let-live’ neighbour as long as it suits him, ricochets across my conscience and silences me. “They were here long before us, you know. We have taken their territory.”

This is debatable and I won’t enter into Hadeda hugging or Goose cuddling, but somehow I know that the cries of these clumsy TerraDactyl look-alikes have a place in the South African psyche.

When I visit my parents in the U.K., the dawn chorus is a complete contrast and somehow wanting. Blackbirds, Starlings and Robins just don’t cut it without a section of strangulated tenors. Of course, seagulls have similar habits, but these don’t frequent the sing-song silence of inland Wiveliscombe in the bowels of Somerset. Neither do birds thump around above the eaves. Telephone poles and wires are more their thing.

RobinBlackbird In the tranquillity of an English village, tweets and warbles are more in keeping with the lyrics of an old hymn I used to sing at school, but never fully appreciated.

Morning has broken like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Praise for the singing, praise for the morning

Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

It strikes me as uncanny that Hadeda Ibis are referred to as Birds of Eden.

Ibis Perhaps, when at home in South Africa, I should adjust the lyrics slightly:

Morning has broken like the first morning

Hadedas woken like TerraDactyls

Praise for alarmists, praise for the warnings

They were here first, disturbing my World.

Ah well, when I get to Australia, I will have to contend with the rushing of night air as gargantuan fruit bats flap overhead like Hadedas without voices.

Thank God, He didn’t consult me before He designed the messengers of the air with His Words and assigned them to their dawn and dusk missions. I might have had something far less creative and uplifting to Blog about.

Birds on a Wire - freedigitalphotos.netOh, and by the way, my morning is fixed – it’s far better sleeping under a pillow than in a tree!

Photos courtesy of


3 thoughts on “Morning has Broken

  1. Sue says:

    Gotta love those birdies… I do miss the Hadedas, they are my favourites. I know they make a crazy noise, but …

  2. Susan says:

    Hadedas are noisy, yes, and their beaks always look a bit scary, but they do have the most beautiful plumage, unlike their Australian cousins who are… well, a bit pale.

    • jac says:

      Would anyone like our starlings? they have a sweet whistle but are truly filthy nesters. I’ve pur brooms, mops and feather dusters along all the bird spikes on our pillars because they’re raiding the moss and mud in the gutters and spreading it on every available surface!! Give me hadedahs any day.

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