Greenfinches were in full song, including among their trilling notes, the distinctive, long drawn out "zweee”” note. A male briefly performed his fluttering wing display flight. We heard the classic typical bell like “teacher teacher” song of the Great Tit but the song of this species can vary from the norm so beware! We only heard a single Song Thursh and no Blackbirds as both species prefer to sing early and late in the day.
All these songsters, also including Wren and Blue Tit, were accompanied by background “noises” from Jackdaws, Wood Pigeons, Carrion Crows, a Green Woodpecker and Black Headed Gulls. We also found a couple of Common Gulls among the flock of Black-headed Gulls on the Bathampton sports field.
Perhaps the most challenging song to identify, came from a small party of Siskin, their rapid, twittering and wheezy notes from deep within bushes and trees the other side of the canal. We only saw the birds when they flew, calling, from cover and over our heads. Fortunately, when we reached Grosvenor Bridge by Kensington Meadows, we found a singing male in full view whose song we could compare directly with a Goldfinch perched close-by in another tall alder tree. I would describe a Siskin’s song as a speeded-up Greenfinch, with its full song including distinctive very nasal wheezy note although this bird omitted that part of its song.
I hope that those attending the meeting can now identify with more confidence a few common bird songs and calls and will continue to develop their listening skills as spring progresses. Our summer migrants are only a few weeks from arrival now.
I recorded a total of 32 species during the morning by sight and sound, including a Treecreeper and Goldcrest both seen well but silent.