Saturday, 18 April 2015


I ve been thinking about this post for a few weeks now and I ve finally got around to posting it.

Quite often when birdwatching it is the call that is diagnostic or reveals the presence of a species. In both cases it is easy to overlook the beauty of a sound or what that sound means, so here are some of my favourite calls and what they mean to me.

The common buzzard wasn't common in England when I was growing up but when I moved to Wales they were everywhere. Returning to Warwickshire in 2000 I found they had now colonised the county. They are majestic birds and their mewing calls are haunting.

Jackdaws are a common species but I love the gregarious nature of their calls, the joy they seem to exhibit in the calls as the wheel around in the sky pulling of some quite remarkable maneuvers.

The call of the Herring Gull is something that reminds me of my few happy years at university by the sea at Aberystwyth. Hearing this call takes me back to watching the gulls on the lawn outside the Llandinam Tower to watching them try and nick chips along the promenade. 

Few bird songs compete with the Skylark and they have a resonance to me because they are with me much of the time in the summer. On a calm day I can hear them from my garden, in spring and summer I always here them as I cycle to work and once at work I hear them on the fields nearby. Sadly major construction around the schools mean that future years will now be silent.

Now you may think having the Grey Heron call as one of my favourites but the sound really does evoke something in me. I used to do Heronry counts and I would hear this sound as the brids flapped over head just glimpsed through the trees. The sound is almost prehistoric and it relates to the manner of this large looming loping shape of a bird so well. Stood amongst the conifers with them calling around me I felt as if I could have been million years ago.

I could go on and on, so many songs have stories or feelings attached to them. I could have included Kingfisher, Kestrel, Tawny Owl and Green Woodpecker but I think these 5 are my top 5.