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  • Writer's pictureDavid Darrell-Lambert

Spring voices

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

We may think that it is still winter but as our days get longer birds are springing into action (pardon the pun). Territorial birds are bursting in to song as the first rays of light cross the horizon. In fact several birds are vocal before then so Robins and Song Thrushes start off first before the rest all join in the chorus.

The best time to listen is as early as possible but failing that try as close to dawn as you make it. At the end of the day birds will also sing, nowhere near as many as dawn but still there are few singer knocking out the odd tune or two.

So what can we listen too?

Young Tawny Owl

juvenile Tawny Owl

Well first up is a young Tawny Owl! Why? Well they breed early and from March onwards you can hear their young calling. They will not only call at night but also early in the morning up to a hour or so after first light. If you hear this call then young are close

Mistle Thrush singing

Mistle Thrush

So next we have a Mistle Thrush singing, typically a heathland species but in London we get them in park and on any large open patches of grass such a football pitches. Unlike other thrush species they are very bold and sit right out in the open. Often singing from the zenith of a tree with an eerie quality

Chaffinch singing


Chaffinch are common but thin on the ground. So you’ll find them in parks and gardens but normally in low numbers. They have a wonderful song - imagine a fast bowler, a build up and the release!

Goldfinch singing

This one breeds everywhere and completely over looked! The photo here was taken in supermarket car park! I find them singing in the middle of the capital to local high streets. Listen for their jangling like song


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