AS we have had to endure more and more restrictions, I have longed to be a bird. I have envied their freedom, their joy and their activity.

There is no doubt that nature and ornithology have played a huge part in maintaining our mental health during this pandemic.

Our gardens and open spaces have been vital to our health. The larger birds such as seagulls, ravens, kites and buzzards have soared effortlessly above the earth below where we fret and fear.

The Bible has many references to birds. The raven, like us, is a social bird that loves to communicate.

In 1 Kings chapter 17 verse 4, we read how Elijah the prophet had to flee from King Ahab after he had rebuked him. He sheltered in a narrow wadi or valley, where ravens brought him bread and meat.

I notice that sparrows are making a comeback locally. In Psalm 84 we read: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts. My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord. Even the sparrow finds a home, ever singing your praise.”

The eagle is seen in our Lecterns in church, because the Word of God soars like an eagle. We read in Isaiah chapter 40 verse 31: “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.”

Many will soon be doing the annual bird count. I always look out for the collared dove. The Dove, of course, represents peace.

In Genesis chapter 8 we read how Noah sent out a dove to find dry land. When it brought back an olive leaf, Noah knew that their troubles were over and they could settle on dry land once more.

Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew chapter 8 verse 20: “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

We know that the swan is a protected bird. We have some of them on the River Teifi. In these days of pandemic it is interesting to read in Leviticus chapter 11 about birds and animals that should not be eaten.

They included the eagle, vulture, osprey, buzzard, kite, raven, ostrich, night hawk, seagull, hawk, little owl, cormorant, great owl, water hen, stork, heron, hoopoe and bat!

I have not mentioned the thrush. It seems shy and does not appear very often in our garden. John Clare has a lovely poem called “The Thrush’s Nest.”

Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush

That overhung a mole-hill large and round,

I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns to sunrise, while I drank the sound

With joy; and, often an intruding guest,

I watched her secret toils from day to day-

How true she warped the moss to form a nest,

And modelled it within with wood and clay;

And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,

There lay her shining eggs, as bright as flowers,

Ink-spotted over shells of greeny blue;

And there I witnessed, in the sunny hours,

A brood of nature’s minstrels chirp and fly,

Glad as that sunshine and laughing sky



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.

(Eleanor Farjeon. 1881- 1965)

Tydi sy’n deffro’ adar

i flaenu’r wawr â chân,

O deffro ni i’th foli

bob dydd â chalon lân.

(T Elfyn Jones.)


Prayers: Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen


Hollalluog Dduw, creaist y nefoedd a’r ddaear a’n creu ni ar dy ddelw dy hun: dysg ni i ddirnad ôl dy law yn dy holl waith a’th lun yn dy holl blant; trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd, yr hwn gyda thi a’r Ysbryd Glân sy’n teyrnasu goruwch pob peth, yn awr a hyd byth. Amen.