Sounds wild 2021!

What was the first wildlife sound you heard this year?

On the morning of 1 January, here in Heslington on the outskirts of York, this was the first sound of the wild that I heard. Can you recognise it?

It’s a Collared Dove. (Perched on our neighbour’s tv aerial.)

I like to think it’s a dove of peace. And, this year more than most, that it is also a dove of hope. Goodness knows we need hope as we embark on 2021 …

Keep your ears open for sounds of the wild this year. And if you need a little ear training when it comes to birdsong, you can hear the sounds of all the birds that appear in my Flying High! book here.

Listen out just now, where you are, for the Robin. Along with the Collared Dove, that’s the bird we hear most here at present.

Though when our local lake froze over last weekend there were some corking sounds of gulls as they were trying to land and keep their balance on it:

However, if you’re aching for the sounds of spring and summer already, you can always listen to the recording I made of the first 100 days of last year’s lockdown, starting in March and going through to the end of June. Many birds. Many bees. Many other flutterings and mutterings (and the occasional splattering) too … Listen here.

May your ears find delight in the sounds of the natural world this year.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life


  1. The first bird this year was a herring gull, closely followed by collared dove.Not so many years ago it was blue tits, just outside Canterbury city centre. A neighbour feeding the doves is also thereby feeding the sparrowhawk!

    • Collared doves seem to be the bird of the moment, don’t they? They used to be more common where we live, then departed for some years, but seem to be back again. I wonder if we’ll see any Sparrowhawk action here. They’ve taken out Blackbirds in our garden in the past.

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