The blackbirds and song thrushes are back for the season and we have a permanent chorus of "liquid gold" birdsong outside our windows. Especially at sunset the birds will perch high in a tree and sing their little hearts out. The most magical thing though is that they really do sing in the dead of night. Walk down the dark, empty street at 3 a.m. and everything's silent except a little bird who is happily filling the world with song.
Last year we realized how ignorant we were when it came to British birds (didn't recognize a single one) so we headed to the library and got a bird book. Then we upped the nerd-factor and got binoculars. And bird feeders. We have also crossed over the complete nerd threshold, which is when you can't wait to see your spouse so you can excitedly blurt out all the birds you saw that afternoon.
Your spouse replies, "No! A yellowhammer ?"
"Yeah! I know, I could hardly believe it!"
"Luckyyyy!" your spouse whines, and searches immediately for the binoculars.
And that's what happens when you live a zillion miles away from family and friends.