The blackbirds fall silent as I step out the front door.
There's three of them, one perched on the wall that hides the garbage bins, another on the low-hanging power lines, and the last is crouched inside his own fluffed feathers on the strangely purposeless arch that adorns the mouth of the driveway.
They hold their silence as I pass, three cocked black heads twisting to watch my progress, tiny black eyes tracking my every step. I watch them in turn, but if it's a staring contest they're winning, if only because I'm simply trespassing through the field of battle. I have a tram to catch, after all.
I've reached the next house up the street before they start with their melodies again.
What didn't they want me to overhear, I wonder?
Probably the fact that they were taking bets on who could make the best star-burst pattern when they crapped on my car.