Looking for our wildlife adoptions?

 

Available now! Hedgehog, Otter and Barn owl .

Please support us today, save wildlife

Click below, see what you can do

 

E-news

Sign-up below to receive our regular updates

Back to blog listings


Day 25 - 30 Days Wild

Posted: Sunday 25th June 2017 by trustadmin

Bird songs (part 2)

I had trouble sleeping last night. I think it was my leg freshly liberated from its cast that was causing the problem. It just didn’t want to settle, and woke me up several times. I was awake, for example, at 5am. I know that because I checked on my alarm clock, and also because the first birds were singing.

Ever an opportunist I decided to take advantage of my insomnia and start my ’30 Days Wild’ early. I did ‘bird songs’ a few days ago – but that was a cheat really as I just listed my favourite songs with birds in the title. Now it was time to do it properly, and dissect the dawn chorus bird by bird. I got as far as blackbird and fell asleep.

When I woke for proper I decided to continue where I had left off. The dawn chorus was obviously over, but there was still noise coming from the garden, mainly from birds squabbling over the feeder. I guessed at sparrows, starlings, and magpies. I looked out the window to check. Sparrows and starlings were correct, but the magpies were in fact, jackdaws.

There’s a reason I’ve been putting off a task involving bird song, and it’s because I’m not very good at them. Generally I’m ok with birds when I can see them but when they start singing - it’s a whole different story! I have a poor auditory memory, I guess. It’s a shame as it’s a really useful skill for a birdwatcher, and one that can save you hours trying to work out what exactly is singing three foot inside those hawthorns. There are a few songs however that I know and these, by default, make up my list of favourite real bird songs.

I think chiffchaff would be top of the list. It’s clear and obvious, and is onomatopoeic. It might as well be introducing itself to you personally. It’s also a sign that better days are ahead.

For that same reason I love the constant chattering of swifts, swallows, and house martins, though don’t ask me to tell them apart! I like the shrill of the skylark as it wavers up and down in the air, another bird happy to announce itself to the world. Geese as they fly overhead; and the gentle cooing of woodpigeons would also be on that list.

Not strictly a song, but the tapping of a woodpecker is always exciting. The Holy Grail for me though is the cuckoo. I heard it all the time as a child growing up in Shropshire, but I’ve not heard one since I’ve been back in the UK. I did see one a few weeks back on a Neston bike ride. I nearly fell off my bike - it didn’t call though.

That’s more or less my list. Not very impressive, but maybe there’s a lesson there - sometimes you don’t need to know everything. It can be enough to just sit back and enjoy your ignorance.

Read trustadmin's latest blog entries.

Comments

There are currently no comments, why not be the first.