Listen out for these birds setting up territories in your garden.  All of these are singing at the moment.  This is a great time of year to try to learn some bird song as their are only a few singing.  On the links below, scroll down for their spring song or their calls.

In nearly all cases its the male that sings and they tend to sing only in spring/summer ~ breeding season.  They make plenty of calls/communication sounds throughout the year but the song is the preserve of the breeding male.  Through song and colour they proclaim their territorial rights and attempt to woo a mate.  Once a bird is singing it will most likely set up a territory in the area.  The birds songs are used to record the numbers of breeding pairs in a given area.  Like any learning, if you can crack the few most common birds the rest get a lot easier to recognise.  A bit like listening to an orchestra, with a little practice you can start to pick out the different instruments.  Bird song is much the same.  In time, the different sounds become quite distinctive.  Once your ear is tuned in you will have a never ending source of pleasure by knowing who is singing and why they are singing every time you step outside.

Listen out here for some of our migrating birds that arrive from late March..

Robin, sings all year..

Wren, sings all year..

Goldcrest, Irelands smallest bird starts singing in February.

Bluetit, one of the first birds to sing.  Nice simple set of notes to remember.

Great Tit, has a vast array of sounds but a couple of common ones!

Song Thrush, repeats its notes two or three times and starts singing in February.

Blackbird, a song known so well.  The longer the tune, the older the blackbird and the better chance it has of luring a mate.  Often finishes with a near squeak, which distinguishes it from a Mistle thrush.

Dunnock, slightly crazed, frantic song.  Very load and immediate.  Not often seen but very common song.

Chaffinch, starts high, goes down a couple of notes and finishes with a flourish.  One of the most common birdsongs, a great one to learn and then eliminate from the chorus.

Goldfinch, one of our most beautiful garden birds.  Sing from early April.

If you hear any of these sounds please get in touch!

More to come as spring gets going…

Have a listen to a piece that highland radio did on one of my bird walk/talks in Drumboe woods!