Blog Post: Spring is most definitely in the air

Spring is most definitely on its way. Walking around the lake is music to the ears, the increase in birdsong recently is very apparent. This melodious of soundtracks most frequently begins with the robins , who are well known to sing under any lights, lamp posts in the evening have been known to set the robin off. Blackbirds are not far behind. The sweet song of the dunnock is truly beautiful and is in my opinion a very much underestimated bird. Not only are they more exquisite to look at than at first noticed they also have a a rather secret and and very much polygamous reproductive life, with multiple matings occurring on both parts. Who'd have thought this little grey and brown bird has such a saucy secret life? These most infamous of songsters are joined by goldfinch sitting high up in the trees, with their unmistakable wheezy calls they cause quite a cacophony screeching overhead, amidst the charms of this delicate golden finch are often the rasps of greenfinch , their larger and bulkier cousin. Once renowned for their more aggressive tactics on garden feeders these finches haven suffered losses in the last 15 or 16 years due to the parasite trichomonosis. it looks as thought the greenfinch may be bouncing back though, which is great news for this most charismatic of garden birds. These two finches are joined by another cousin the smartly dressed chaffinch , again singing high in trees the russet red chest and belly of the male is unmistakable, along with its "pink pink" calls. The soundtrack is by now gaining in volume, suddenly a bewildering song is heard, which sounds unlike anything you've heard before, it has an almost imitative quality, as if trying to repeat something that has just been heard. It's rather alarmist, quite shrill at times and seemingly repeating in sets of 3. This is the song thrush , loud, bold and almost electric. It's melody adding another layer to the already rich selection of morning song. If there's another unusual birdsong floating in the air, it's almost bound to be a great tit , I feel they take great pride in throwing in something off the cuff, and not in the plan. They whistle, they wheeze, they're tuneful, they're off key, they're everything. Don't let them trick you, I've spent way too long listening to and recording great tits because I thought they were something else, only each time to be caught out by their tricks yet again. Blue tits unlike the larger great tits, seem at least to stick to the page a little bit more with their "siiiiih siiiih" type trilling, as is in the script. There's a rather large flock of linnet here on the edge of the lake, they often flyby and occasionally perch in the trees towards the back edge of the lake. You can hear their melody coming and going as they dart across the sky. Their musical addition is a form of falsetto staccato with a rapid tempo, bouncing notes with pauses in between often accompanying their flight. Being beside the seaside also gives rise to the calls of the sea. The "kleep kleep" of the oystercatcher is a ubiquitous sound of the sea with the plaintive cry of the redshank adding another accompaniment, creating an absolute uniqueness to our "dawn chorus". As for the gulls and the ducks, they appear to find the whole thing amusing, laughing at will at their own randomly chosen moment. The morning song (dawn chorus) will only ramp up even further as we move through spring and those already prepped and ready will be joined by fresh blood in the coming weeks. Migrant songsters will begin their move to breeding territories very soon. Along the sand dunes in particular the voices of blackcap , whitetrhoa t, chiff chaff and willow warbler will soon be heard. Hot on their tails will be the movement of swallows and martins , leading in April to the screeching swifts , who are always last to arrive and the first to leave. Life is entering a new phase, as we too see our lives moving on and through this pandemic the birds continue their cycle oblivious to it all and for this we must welcome them, nurture and enjoy them, for they bring new life and brighter days. Keep you ears open and your eyes peeled for the new season of life has begun. Jo Robin, blue tit and linnet Jo Taylor