Sunday, 11 July 2010

Birdsong, Music and Inspiration.

Castle at Mitford
I’m stepping down soon as Leader of the Local RSPB Group so as to allow myself more time to ‘be me’. I want to devote more time to my own interest in nature and birds in particular, but I also want to encourage and inspire, in particular, young people to take an interest in nature and their local surroundings. I’ve already began in a small way to do this with the help of friends. I was as you know involved in Holywell Birdings project with the scouts recently, and shortly afterwards I led a school eco-group, to whom I’d previously given a talk, through Holywell dene and St Mary’s Island.

I find it is the small things that interest the youngsters, but generally not LBJs, although certainly some from the school group were taken with the manic song of the Sedge Warbler at the wetland near St Mary’s. As I’ve said before, I think this area could be so much better given a little attention. Are you listening N T C? I suspect with forthcoming cutbacks you won’t be! Getting back to small things, I found what really got the kids interested were the things such as cuckoo-spit soldier beetles, especially the ones that were mating and perhaps not surprisingly the Carrion Crow which was dining on a young seabird. I'm pleased to that plants of various kinds have caught the imagination of some. In truth there were few birds about at the coast the day I was down there, but we did see such species as Cormorant, Eider Duck, Common Scoter, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Curlew, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern, along with gulls and other corvids. Birding was difficult in the dene because of the thickness of the herbage but we had the likes of Grey Heron, tits and finches. I found a Speckled Wood Butterfly which now seems to be more common in the dene. The weather has been kind too, with warmth and sun for recent ventures.

I was also out this weekend in a wood in Northumberland with a local professional musician who is looking for inspiration from bird song so as to write a musical piece. You will I think hear more about this in the future. I really found this interesting, and although there is little birdsong at the moment, I think the initial thoughts and plans are being put into place and I’ll enjoy seeing/hearing how this progresses. Of course much music has gained inspiration from birdsong The only birds of note that we heard at any length were Chiffchaff (no one will have gone home failing to recognise that one in the future!), Blackbird, Wren, corvids and pigeons. I did catch sight of a Jay on arrival. I also gained some ideas as to where to arrange a future group local walk.

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