Sounds interesting …

The day after the momentous Brexit result in our EU referendum, we had the pleasure of welcoming a very special migrant to our garden here on the outskirts of York. Take a listen to this:

Isn’t it beautiful? It’s the first time I’ve ever, in the 20 years we’ve lived here, heard this bird singing in our garden. And it provided very welcome balm for the soul.

In case you’re wondering, what you’ve just listened to is a male Blackcap.

As anyone who has been to one of my Flying High! shows will know, I am a big fan of birdsong. And I’m very keen, through my Flying High! shows (often performed with storyteller Catherine Heinemeyer) and my forthcoming Flying High! book, to tune other people in to the joys (and occasional annoyances!) of the birdsong around them.

However, birdsong isn’t the only fabulous sound you might hear in your garden. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear all sorts of other interesting sounds.

For example, ten days after I heard the Blackcap singing, I was just about to go to bed when I heard a familiar sound through the bathroom window. We hear it every year at about this time. Have a listen. Do you know what it is?

The first time I heard it, I had no idea what it was. The answer is: two hedgehogs getting to know each other. They snuffle around each other like this for ages and ages. We feel very lucky that year after year, hedgehogs come to our garden for this special event in their lives.

Courting hedgehogs in our garden, 4 July 2016

Courting hedgehogs in our garden in Heslington, 4 July 2016

And here’s another intriguing sound. I heard it in the garden over the course of a few days last week. It was coming from our wooden trellis. Any idea what it is? (N.B. You need to listen very carefully!)

For the answer to this one, I’ll point you in the direction of my award-winning Buzzing! book. All is revealed on pages 20 and 21!

Meanwhile, may your life be enriched by tuning in to the sounds of nature all around you.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the effect of leaving the EU may be on our wildlife here in Britain, have a read of this interesting document, The EU and Our Environment, drawn up in advance of the referendum by the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and WWF.

Anneliese Emmans Dean theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

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10 thoughts on “Sounds interesting …

  1. My son used to call hen blackcaps ‘redcaps’! Very literal in his thinking then. I first noticed one by the 39 Steps in Broadstairs, singing in midwinter, 22 years ago (when my son was a baby). The big buzz around here, apart from 5 or 6 bee species at a time on the lavender is the lime (tilia) trees, alive with bees. All along the city streets for a couple of weeks.

    • Well, your son made a very interesting point. Why should birds be named after the plumage of the male rather than the female?! Pleased to hear it’s bee-rich where you are right now. Enjoy!

    • OK then Emily, all will be revealed. (Cue drumroll!) It’s a wasp, munching our wooden trellis. It will mix this with its saliva to make its ‘paper’ nest. That’s what gave us the idea of mixing wood and water to make paper. (I say gave ‘us’ – actually it gave 18th-century French scientist Réaumur the idea! Took ‘us’ a long time how to work out how to do it, though.)

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