One of my earliest memories is being woken up early in the morning by the hum of a milk float and a Blackbird singing outside my window. I’d lie there, listening to the sounds of the world starting to stir around me, and half hope my mum would forget to wake me for school.
The familiar, often intricate song of our garden birds has continued to comfort me over the years, and even the sometimes harsh sounding call of Seagulls is a welcome home, back to the sea. I still find it strange to hear them further inland, and when I was at university in a city far away from the ocean, the sound of seagulls made me homesick and sad.
Ironic then that years later, I live in a flat quite close to the sea, and can sometimes be woken up very early in the morning by Seagulls calling to one another just outside my window; not quite such a nostalgic sound at 5am!
More often than not though, it’s the smaller, garden birds I hear, chattering away to each in the trees and bushes of the garden outside, which is a more peaceful and smile-inducing sound, if there can be such a one. Yet, I can’t help but smile, if ever so slightly, when I hear birds sing. I love walking through the countryside and hearing only that and the crunch of leaves under foot, with just the click of my camera to interrupt the natural flow of sounds.
So yesterday, I voted for my favourite bird. Well, to be honest, I voted for two; perfectly able to do so as they record your email address. So, my first vote went to the Robin, primarily in honour of my maternal grandmother, who loved them, as I do too. My second went to the Blackbird for its beautiful song, which used to wake me from my childhood slumber many years ago.
So, please follow the link below and vote for Britain’s favourite bird. Also, if you’re feeling a bit stressed and tired mid-week, then follow the second link to a wonderful programme on the BBC iplayer called Dawn Chorus: The Sounds of Spring; just sit, watch or listen, and relax. Let me know if you do either, or both.