I wonder if there is an app which you can use to find out what bird is singing? I know the common birds, sparrow, starling, seagull, pigeons/doves, blackbird… although apart from seagulls and pigeons we don’t see many of the others. Starlings and sparrows used to be so common but now we rarely see them – I heard a starling the other day, but where are the great flocks which used to entertain us swooping and swirling in the sky? Last summer we had lots of sparrows, I don’t know what a collective noun for them is, but there was a host of them living in our wild hedge.
We do get a lot of crows and jackdaws – in fact they compete with the seagulls along the seafront. We see magpies, in ones and twos, there used to be a host of them round here in the woods but now we just see the odd family, usually falling out with each other. These birds have very familiar calls and cries, no mistaking them.
There are some birds which I do know the songs of, but need a little hint of seeing them to remind me – blue-tits, robins, the elusive wren. I don’t know what song a woodpecker has, but we hear them drumming in the woods. As a child we used to see and hear thrushes – I don’t whether they are rare beside the sea, or whether they are rare in this area, or whether there just aren’t as many as there used to be. Their song is lovely, but I’ve not even heard an invisible thrush singing. Occassionally we see jays, and last time there was a pair of them and what a strange and rather horrid noise they made, like a rusty saw drawn backwards and forwards.
Now I go on more walks I hear many more birds, but I really have no idea what they are as they hide in the undergrowth, which is why I wondered if there was an app which I could use to identify them even if i can’t see them. There’s Shazam which identifies songs and music, which is really useful when you hear a snatch of something and can’t remember what it is and who is singing it. There must be a bird song app… I must investigate!