• Barbara Copperthwaite

The sounds of spring

You can hear it in the air. It’s not anywhere near full song yet but there is definitely a more vibrant sound across gardens and park, as more birds are giving song. They’re on the look-out for mates, defending territories, and generally saying: “Look at me!”.

Yesterday morning, I was standing beside a tree and was nearly deafened by the incredibly loud, high-pitched, tsk-tsk-tsk call of a Goldcrest. Whilst I stood, my cheeks tingling with cold (they were the only part of me not swathed in layers of clothing) I heard another sound echoing across Highbury Park – the distinctive call of the Woodpecker. As I searched for it, looking eagerly at the tree tops, I noticed how the Crows seem to be everywhere at the moment. Perched at virtually every tree, it seems as though they are on sentry duty. Below them, swarming from twig to twig, tree to tree were Long-Tailed Tits moving around in their little flocks, always on the move, busy, busy, busy. Their cousins, the Blue Tits, were out in force too, their call sweetly piercing the air as well.

By afternoon, on the ponds all traces of the cold had disappeared, and there was still ice floating in wide sheets. The Mallards stood on it in sections and every now and again I could hear it creaking gently, especially if a duck had swum up against its side and was pushing it slightly. Winter is still here. But from the sound of things, spring is reminding us all not to forget that it isn’t so very far away.

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