Sunday 1 May 2016

Out of Tune Birds

As you know I'm trying to make myself rather more adept at identifying bird calls.

These are slow beginnings. The laser fight peeeows of dunnocks I think I'm getting, also the angry chirps of a chaffinch. But the the song that is intriguing me most at the moment is that of the blackcap.

It's a sweet fluting song indeed, but at the beginning the bird always sounds like it is slightly out of tune, and has to "warm up" before getting its vocals sorted out. I think this impression is solidified by the fact that this warbler has a very aspirated quality to its song - actually like someone blowing into a flute - and it's almost as if the bird has missed the mouthpiece a little bit when it begins.

I got another great view of a male today in the Sconce Old Oak Wood - I'm sure a pair are nesting somewhere near where the bark path forks in two - and although he didn't sing for me while I was watching, a subsequent fusillade of song from a willow tree reinforced the off key nature of the initial phrasing of the song.

Didn't manage to get a photograph sadly, they don't settle for long, but there were some other birds about at the park today.

Hope you all enjoyed the day.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.05.16


  1. The rich fruity song of the Blackcap is one of my favourites and it sounds like your bird song ID skills are coming along very nicely. Keep at it, it will definitely be worth it :-)

    Nice pics as well Simon, especially the lovely Goldfinch and Robin :-)

  2. A great set of images, bird song ID takes a while and I notice that the birds down here have a slightly different call to North Yorkshire which has caught me out a few times.

  3. So many goldfinches around at the moment here. We've Blackcaps too- I love their song :o)

  4. Thank you for your comments, light has been a bit dismal for good shots, today we've had heavy rain!