Entering a wood in early summer:
- by listening the calls and
songs of fifteen to twenty species can
- by marching around and trying
to use binoculars only five species
might be identified
(The cover of the leaves obscures
vision and by walking about birds are flushed into other parts of the
I recommend that you try and learn some bird
calls. Once you can recognize the calls and songs of birds,
birdwatching moves into another dimension.
Birds that you seldom saw can now be easily traced in your neighbourhood
via their calls.
Even identification of a few
common species it is a great advantage,
for if you hear the song of something you don't recognize it is likely
to be something more unusual. I am constantly filtering the bird calls
around me listening for anything worth investigating. Subconsciously I
am scanning calls all the time and sometimes detect interesting birds
at the most unsuitable times and in most unlikely places.
TEACH YOURSELF BIRD CALLS & SONGS
To teach myself the bird calls
I have carefully homed in on the sources of unknown calls, identified
the species and then remembered what I have learnt by isolating what is
particular about the call and how I would describe it to somebody else.
Repetition seems to have worked,
now I can go for weeks without hearing anything unusual, and when I do
its just a simple task to expand my repertoire.
There are many excellent tapes
and CDs of bird calls and songs for sale, which can accelerate your learning
and help keep you up to scratch through the quieter times of the year.
The ranges are expanding all the time, keen birders can now prepare for
exotic trips all around the world.
for details of their recordings.
Cross Street, Salthouse, Norfolk NR25 7XH
Tel/Fax: 01263 741100
are more vocal than they are visible, they are cryptically
camouflaged and during the day most species roost huddled up in cover.
Local tawny owls vocalize regularly and can often be seen hunting when
they have young. Knowledge of the different owl species' calls enables
me to detect the occasional visits by barn, long-eared owls and little
Knowing the "hissing squawk"
calls for food of young tawny owls means that I come across them every