The incomparable, wonderful thing about the natural world – which we are a part of – is that it continues to tick by; singing, blooming, unfurling, flowing, growing, changing, ticking by…
Today marks the First Day of Spring, and amongst the uncertainty presented in ‘our’ world right now, the natural world – that which we remain a part of – is preparing to once again embark upon the most incredible celebration of emergence, rebirth and colour.
As I type this, away from the beguiling landscape of Haweswater, and instead from my small garden at home, I can’t help but notice a reflection in the excitement I feel in my own humble plot compared with our open Lakeland landscape. A welcomed consequence of the fresh emergence of spring life.
Now, more than ever, is the time to discover and embrace nature, whenever you can, and wherever you may be. We understand that for some, this is difficult. But wherever you are, and whatever your circumstance, perhaps we can celebrate this First Day of Spring together through this blog, through what we can see and hear from our windows, gardens and open spaces.
Feeding, chattering, bickering and passionately competing, are the birds; the first thing we notice about spring is often not what we see, but what we hear.
As the days draw out, so too does birdsong, from pre-dawn to post-dusk – with those few nighttime explorers filling the thin evening air with their echoing flutes.
Now is the time that birds, along with many other animals, have that ‘One Thing’ on their minds and, perhaps of little surprise, it’s the males who put on the most elaborate vocal performances to woo their potential mates.
With a change in song purpose, comes a change in the song itself for many species; or at least a change in the length, pitch, melody, rhythm…
One thing is for certain, birdsong volume is turned UP at the onset of spring, and with Great-spotted Woodpeckers returning to their ‘drum sets’ as they reverberate off trees to attract mates, and Stock Doves providing the steady, purring bass, amongst the chattering vocals of our songbirds, our springtime Avian Symphony is complete.
To set an abstract, jazz-like pace to this melody we need a unique metronome, and what better call than that of the onomatopoeic Chiffchaff, coolly returning slightly late to their cue from their winter in Africa.
Wherever you are, urban jungle or rural pastoral, set your eyes and ears to the sky to welcome Spring, and let’s celebrate our part in it.
Visitor Development Officer, RSPB Haweswater