Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Just Listen

The warm weather here the past few days has signalled a magical transformation in the garden. There's signs of new growth everywhere, but the most noticeable change of all is in sound. The birds have found their LOUD button, now timed to start just as I'm beginning to be aware of the world at 6am and because we're at the Spring equinox, they're also at their loudest at the same time in the evening.

This week at dusk I've been entranced by an hour long concert from a song thrush. It's decided to sing in the ash tree on the public land closest to the house, a mere 15 feet or so away. There's such variety in its call, so I've been compelled to open the windows wide and just listen. As the light fades, I'm also aware of the rich smell of earth in the garden - it's as if the ground is opening up to greet the Spring.

The song thrush concert fades at about 7pm just in time for a female tawny owl to start calling for a mate. She patrols up and down the stream that runs past the side of the house, but as yet I've not heard an answering call. As she glides silently into the night, it's the turn of the robins to restart their daytime singing. They often do this in urbanised areas, possibly because of the street lighting. One sits atop a street light not far from where the thrush has been singing, calling out his territory in liquid notes. When he pauses, there's an answering call a little further down the street. And so it goes on until well past bedtime.

If you open your windows wide at eventide at this time of the year and just listen, what can you hear? BTW the links in this post take you to the RSPB entries for each bird where you too can just listen to a smidgen of my magical evening concert.

8 comments:

  1. We have been serenaded nightly by our local blackbird, its beautiful and the seagulls are not so beautiful in the morning!!

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  2. Lovely to hear the birds again but there was a light frost on my car this morning before I set off for Devizes.

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  3. Thanks for the links, VP. I'm not good at recognizing bird calls, so I played each of these--the funny thing is, the calls woke up Toby the cat and both dogs, who were no doubt wondering where those birds were!:)

    Enjoyed your post on wildlife in the garden; I like this idea of "slow gardening." Apparently, I have been helping the wildlife all along:)

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  4. This is so true - the birds really are loud, and as Monica said, the frogs have started up too.

    In our garden, the sparrows are dominating, I say to shed man that they are shouting at him for food.

    Its great.
    :)
    K

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  5. Our garden is full of sound too VP and on Thursday on a training walk I heard the ecstatic liquid song of a skylark. Here in the garden it is mostly blackbirds, robins and the squawking of pheasants!

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  6. Monica - aren't they just? They sound like distant roaring motorbikes around here!

    Petoskystone - glad you enjoyed it :)

    Ryan - I find the seagulls are more pesky in the summer - a large noisy flock at 4am isn't welcome here!

    Hermes - same here - I should have added something about that to tomorrow's post

    Rose - I had the same problem with our cats! Glad you liked the other post as I was wanting to show it doesn't take much to attract wildlife to the garden - some people and the media seem to think that it's a big deal.

    Karen - it's fantastic and I thought a picture free post was just what was needed to remind people to use their other senses too.

    Elizabethm - I love skylarks. We have to go a few miles to hear them around here. I fell asleep on a uni field trip once, just listening to one. I was in a peat bog at the time!

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