Sounds of May

Birdsong at dawn – choral gladness

For a few weeks in early May, drifting in and out of sleep during the wee small hours, I had been listening to the sound of birdsong in the comfort of my warm bed. I decided (a little reluctantly) to rise very early and record the dawn chorus in all its full magnitude. Setting my alarm for 3.30am I emerged sleepily from my bed……but was disappointed to find that the showers of April were downpours in May:

May downpour

A second try a few days later was thwarted by the wind:

A very windy dawn

On my third early morning I was in luck. The weather was perfectly still and dry.

I recorded a full 20 minutes with only the occassional interuptions by distant cars or a plane flying overhead. I have condensed this into a 5 minute clip, with minimal editing – just extracting key phases of the chorus and crossfading the clips.

Listen and enjoy without the need to be out of bed at dawn!

Dawn chorus at Girrick

Nest of moss in Birch tree

The daylight hours of May have also seen a lot of bird activity in the garden, including an intriguing little nest high up in the Birch tree. I think it is a Chaffinch, but hard to tell from below.

A Spotted flycatcher has been investigating the birdbox, but doesn’t seem to have taken up residence as yet …….

Spotted Fly catcher bringing moss into bird box

… and various birds have been bathing in the pond or the shallow birdbath on the decking.

Blue tit splashing around in the bird bath – watercolour sketch
Robin bathing in the pond

There were also a few rare moments of dramatic lighting this month.


You can listen to the audio clips for the first five months of 2021 in:

Sound Calendar

A range of slow listening audio clips from nature

Sounds of April

Nature emerges from its winter quietness

April seems to be the month that nature really begins to emerge from the “quietness” of its winter shell. Plant life responds with new life and the budding process abounds. Bees visit early blossoms and birds sing out their varied songs.

Last year in early April, at the start of lockdown, I began the practice of sketching one emerging bud in the garden each day.

Sketches of emerging buds - Pencil with watercolour wash

This year I have been busy listening to the range of sounds that fill the air. Some, that really represent this month, have proved difficult to capture. I didn’t have my recording equipment the day I sat quietly by the fence and heard the sound of cows munching on fresh grass, having returned to the fields with their new calves. Next time I went out with my recorder, the cows were far away in the valley!

I did, however, create a small soundscape, in an attempt to encapsulate some of the other sounds that typify April. Listening on headphones will give you the full effect, hopefully immersing you in the sense of Spring.

Soundscape of Spring
Apple Tree buds opening – pencil with watercolour wash

See also Photogallery: Buds in Spring

You can hear the audio clips for the first four months of 2021 in:

Sound Calendar

A range of slow listening audio clips from nature