Author Topic: Recognising birdsong  (Read 4683 times)

Recognising birdsong
« on: May 23, 2010, 07:05:37 am »
I woke up really early this morning and just couldn't sleep. It was first light so the birds were going mental. So I got up, made a cup of tea and sat in the garden listening to the birds. There was an amazing array of different sounds. They're particularly noisy around here as it's a fairly leafy suburb and my cat - Boris The Blade is always on the prowl at that time.

The thing is, with the exception of Wood Pigeons, I have no idea what all the other birds are. They're just hiding in the trees making noises and occasionally flying around for a bit. There's some really diverse birdsong.

I know there is such a thing called "Google" but could anyone point me towards a site that has sound clips of birds you're likely to see and hear in south east England?

Cheers....
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 07:38:03 am »
This probably doesn't meet the "in south east England" requirement, but it does have sound clips of song by species.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name

I'd suggest starting with the following at this time of year, and see how you get on.

Robin
Blackbird
Tits (Blue & Great)
Song Thrush

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 08:09:19 am »
Cheers, that's an interesting site. I shall prime my ears ready for a bit of Ornithology  :)
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

toekneep

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 08:32:02 am »
Being able to identify just the common birds, (too much lipstick, fag in mouth and all that) makes a huge difference. I'm not a keen birdwatcher but my ears prick up when I hear anything that I can't readily identify which makes spotting the less common birds more likely. It is well worth a bit of studying Bob.

Wowbagger

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 08:36:03 am »
The Chaffinch is also pretty common and with a distinctive call.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 09:12:13 am »
OK, so I was just sitting in the garden and this little bird landed in the walnut tree and made a nice kind of tweet tweet tweet sound before going mental into a machine gun tweet and then turning into a kind of white noise. What was that? I'm guessing it's something fairly common?
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Oaky

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 09:38:58 am »
OK, so I was just sitting in the garden and this little bird landed in the walnut tree and made a nice kind of tweet tweet tweet sound before going mental into a machine gun tweet and then turning into a kind of white noise. What was that? I'm guessing it's something fairly common?

LSD?
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

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toekneep

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 10:18:39 am »
Sound like it might have been a wren. It has a very distinctive trill part way through it's call. Otherwise possibly female Chaffinch.

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 02:10:32 am »
Sound like it might have been a wren. It has a very distinctive trill part way through it's call. Otherwise possibly female Chaffinch.
And that was my thought, wren. A long rattly trill in the song. Chaffinch song almost always ends with "oo WHEE oo"


microphonie

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 07:25:51 pm »
There's one call at the moment that's been driving me mad since my sister asked me to ID it last year - I've not got anywhere near getting a good view of the culprit. Sister is in Hexham, I'm in Norwich and I hear it here too, so the distribution is wide.

The call is a repeated 'swit' or 'sweeeit'. I found a recording of a willow warbler call (as opposed to song) which sounded similar but am not entirely convinced of that as an ID.

Any ideas?
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Tourist Tony

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2010, 09:25:28 pm »
Both chiffchaff and willow warbler have a sort of "fooweet" call.

microphonie

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 06:26:37 pm »
Ta, must be one of those then. Strange that I hear the call a lot but don't remember hearing the songs of either species. Must get out in the marshes round the corner from home more!

Or...I could wait for another willow warbler to make its way into the conservatory, as happened 5 or 6 years ago, and prod it until it sings!

Bingo! That's what I am, a saviour.
A sort of cocky version of Jesus.

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 06:33:02 pm »
I have learned to recognise a few more birds now. All interesting. I am very familiar with a blackbird in its death throws after The Blade brought one in yet again this morning  ::-)

Edit: A garden implement much loved by a gentlemen of this parish was used to put it out of its misery. I hate having to do that, but it was the kindest thing to do. And I had to do it one handed!
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

citoyen

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 05:28:38 pm »
We've been having a somewhat rowdy nocturnal visitor to our garden recently. Based on the time of the visits, my guess is that it's a nightingale, but having listened to the recording on the RSPB site, I'm not totally convinced. Is there anything that sounds similar that it could be instead?

We also have tawny owls - probably a family group. I hear them pretty much every night but have never seen them. Very distinctive sound - even I can easily recognise it.

I suspect we also have other types of owls - listening to the recordings on the RSPB site, I wonder if we might have short-eared owls. Is that likely in East Kent?

I shall have to go out one night and make some recordings.

d.

LindaG

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 05:41:06 pm »
We've been having a somewhat rowdy nocturnal visitor to our garden recently. Based on the time of the visits, my guess is that it's a nightingale, but having listened to the recording on the RSPB site, I'm not totally convinced. Is there anything that sounds similar that it could be instead?

We also have tawny owls - probably a family group. I hear them pretty much every night but have never seen them. Very distinctive sound - even I can easily recognise it.

I suspect we also have other types of owls - listening to the recordings on the RSPB site, I wonder if we might have short-eared owls. Is that likely in East Kent?

I shall have to go out one night and make some recordings.

d.


Nocturnal robins?

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2010, 05:50:45 pm »
We've been having a somewhat rowdy nocturnal visitor to our garden recently. Based on the time of the visits, my guess is that it's a nightingale, but having listened to the recording on the RSPB site, I'm not totally convinced. Is there anything that sounds similar that it could be instead?

We also have tawny owls - probably a family group. I hear them pretty much every night but have never seen them. Very distinctive sound - even I can easily recognise it.

I suspect we also have other types of owls - listening to the recordings on the RSPB site, I wonder if we might have short-eared owls. Is that likely in East Kent?

I shall have to go out one night and make some recordings.

d.


Nocturnal robins?

They tend to sing from trees next to street lamps.

citoyen

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2010, 05:57:45 pm »
They tend to sing from trees next to street lamps.

We do get a lot of robins in our garden, and our nearest neighbour (a little way down the hill) does have a rather bright security lamp...

We also get assorted tits and finches, as well as wood pigeons, jays and woodpeckers (green and spotted). Could it be any of them?

d.

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 11:43:07 am »
I've just been very naughty. With windows wide open, I played some birdsong recordings from the RSPB website.

Yes, I got reactions. Chaffinch & blue tit almost immediately. Robin, now.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2010, 12:26:11 pm »
I've just been very naughty. With windows wide open, I played some birdsong recordings from the RSPB website.

Yes, I got reactions. Chaffinch & blue tit almost immediately. Robin, now.

You do know that Robins have been known to fight to the death over territory.

Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2010, 12:42:21 pm »
I didn't give it the opportunity. Only played the song twice. Dammit man, what do you take me for?

There's a chaffinch singing out there now without any provocation from me. And a blackbird.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

microphonie

  • Tyke 2
Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2011, 04:39:46 pm »
There's one call at the moment that's been driving me mad since my sister asked me to ID it last year - I've not got anywhere near getting a good view of the culprit. Sister is in Hexham, I'm in Norwich and I hear it here too, so the distribution is wide.

The call is a repeated 'swit' or 'sweeeit'. I found a recording of a willow warbler call (as opposed to song) which sounded similar but am not entirely convinced of that as an ID.

Any ideas?

Ha! Finally got a good closeup view of the culprit: a chaffinch  :smug:

It's the call found in the middle, third row: here .
There are an awful lot of call types there in addition to the usual familiar song.
Bingo! That's what I am, a saviour.
A sort of cocky version of Jesus.

clarion

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Re: Recognising birdsong
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2011, 06:32:26 pm »
I heard a bird singing 'Dix-huit! Dix-huit!' near home this morning.

It's probably something common and obvious, but it was lovely :)
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