Monday, 15 April 2013

Our blackbird sings in the magpie nest, and can you hear the cuckoo?

Here he is, sitting in last years' abandoned magpie nest, singing his heart out this afternoon. It makes me smile and my heart is glad every time I hear him.

I apologise for the shaky quality of the video. Perhaps its time I invested in a tripod to hold the camera still so you don't all feel sick watching the results....?




And secondly, I have a hearing test for you all. I can just about make out the cuckoo singing in the background, but wasn't sure whether it was particularly audible to anyone else? Let me know. PS the cuckoo isn't actually visible in the video, in case you thought it was also an eye test. (M: "why on earth did you shoot a video with no cuckoo in it?" Me: "because I didn't know how to do an audio without the pictures. Obviously.")




Finally, here is  my second favourite cuckoo poem. My first is the 13th century one, which M reliably informs me is very important in terms of tracing the development of the English language. 

I suspect this one is less valuable in that sense, but on the other hand it tells you everything you need to know about cuckoos in England, which makes it useful in its own right.

"The Cuckoo comes in April, He sings his song in May
In the middle of June he changes his tune,
In July he flies away."









12 comments:

  1. Heard the cuckoo. But just love the blackbird!

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  2. The blackbird's song is a quintessentially English summertime sound for me. Could listen to him all day long.

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  3. As your reply to Rusty Duck was exactly...word for word...what I was about to write I won't repeat it :-) This country just wouldn't be right without that lovely sound.

    Such a treat to hear your Cuckoo. I'm sure you won't but if you really do ever get tired of hearing them... please point them in my direction ;-)

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  4. I'll try and get a clearer recording of the cuckoos for you SB, and when they start driving me mad I'll suggest one or two pop over your way! :-)
    Black cap in the garden yesterday- will post pics later. V excited- only seen him/her once before. Beautiful little bird.
    Also, would you know what makes a 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 very fast-paced song, if you can imagine it from that rather wonky description? It woke us up a couple of mornings ago and is incessant, very quick but definitely has a 12-beat repetition in bands of 3, if that makes sense? I also heard it in Romsey, our local town, so it's not a one-off visitor to us.

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  5. Hi again CT, I shall look forward to seeing the Blackcap. The male has (surprise, surprise!) a black cap but the female, a lovely rusty brown cap.

    My weak point is ID by sound and the only one I can think of is perhaps a Songthrush which has a large range of sounds and could possibly be what you heard. They do particularly like to make their voices heard early morning and late evening.

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    1. Hi SB, thanks for the reply.

      It's definitely a male black cap then- I saw him again today so hopefully he's decided the food here is up to standard and he'll become a regular. He really is beautiful.

      Thanks for the bird voice suggestion too. I don't think it was a thrush, it felt like a smaller bird somehow, with a sharper more snappy and precise tone, less liquid than the thrush, but I may be wrong. M thinks I have been very unfair asking you for an ID based on numbers! And suggests I record myself singing the bird's song and post that instead! Not sure I want to put you all through that but as it may be the only way to unravel the mystery I may have too! :-)

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  6. Your blackbird is gorgeous; a blackbird's song has to be one of the most perfect sounds. I still haven't heard a cuckoo yet and I'm hoping I will in the next few days. And I read Medieval English, so the early Cuckoo poem you refer to here (and rewrote in your earlier post!!) takes me back a few years...

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    1. There is definitely something special about blackbirds. Some years ago we had one who used to land on the arm of the garden chair while you were sitting in it (a female). I couldn't quite believe it the first time she did it. After a while she began hopping through the garden door into the front room and would peck at the carpet. She was quite unperturbed about people being nearby, or maybe she knew we loved her and would never harm her. That summer she brought her babies to the garden and left them with me while she went off somewhere for an hour. I felt very honoured and also very sad when we left the house and moved elsewhere. She was remarkable and I've never forgotten her.

      My subject was Anglo Saxon, which wasn't all that far removed from Medieval in some ways...

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  7. It was lovely to hear the bird song and I too could hear the Cuckoo. As a child I had a 365 day story book. I don't remember many stories apart from one about the cuckoo arriving in Spring! I'm sure it included the piece you mentioned above.
    Sarah x

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    1. They are memorable birds cuckoos aren't they? I remember watching a wildflife film of a baby one tipping the dunnock eggs and young ruthlessly out of the nest. It was so distressing to watch but on the other hand I would be sad if cuckoos disappeared from these shores.

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  8. A moment of relaxation ..thank you x

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    1. You're very welcome John...sounded like you needed it. CT x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x