The photo on this page is rather alarming initially, as the blackbird looks like it's about to expire. So I should offer immediate reassurance that it is alive and well and still sitting in the Forsythia here by the window.

The blackbird is pictured "sunbathing" on a garden chair.

Admittedly it looks a bit bedraggled. Probably a result of raising two broods, and all the associated running about and fretting.

I noticed it appear in the flowerbed at the foot of the south-facing wall, and strike a strange pose, with wings spread out and its beak open, as in the photo. Most strange was its "hypnotised" appearance - its eyes were glassy like it was in a trance.

As its feathers were tatty and dull, and half of them seemed to be missing, I thought it was not long for this world. I feared the worst. It certainly appeared demented, if not at death's door.

After witnessing this strange behaviour a couple of times I realised that it was "sunbathing". On the internet I discovered another website with an item on "sunbathing blackbirds".

An amusing development was the blackbird's change of favourite sunbathing location to my garden chair. I'd wander out to sit in the sunshine and find my seat occupied. The photo above was taken on one of these occasions.

This blackbird, I'm glad to say, moulted its tatty old feathers, and now has a fine new set, and looks very glossy and handsome.

Blackbirds: 1 | 2 | 3
Blackbird sunbathing on a garden chair

Above: blackbird sunbathing on a garden chair.