Sunday, 19 July 2015

A word about Nightingales

What nicer way to be woken up is there than by the Dawn Chorus, Mother Nature's alarm clock. A veritable melody of joyous warbles and tweets. you can imagine what they're saying can't you?

'Look at that pretty little hen'.

'Who's coming with me to the bird bath?'

'I saw some juicy berries down the lane'.

'I need to collect some twigs to mend the nest.'

'Little Robin eats so much I need to look for worms.'

'Did you see what that cuckoo did? why can't they build their own nests?'

''Will you join on me in the cherry tree later?'

 Some bird song is easier to recognize than others, the cuckoo, wood pigeons, doves and blackbirds are well-known to most of us and provide a pleasant sound track to our day.

The Nightingale is a rather shy, retiring summer visitor yet is rightly famed for his amazing song.  His song is often loud and contains very deep full notes as well as low trills and warbles. His song is naturally noticed more at night but in fact he sings just as much in the daytime. Listen out for him on summer evenings, he makes a sound a bit like this, 'hweet' 'chrr'.

Both the male and the female or the cock and the hen in bird language are alike, no competition her for who is the fairest. Their plumage is inconspicuous, being a quiet brown with paler parts underneath.

Here is the first verse of  the poem by John Keats (1796 - 1821)

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
  My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
   One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of my happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness, -
  That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
       In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
     Singest of summer in full-throated ease.


A Nightingale

1 comment:

  1. I have always loved Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats. I have never seen a nightengale up close. How lucky to wake up to "joyous warbles and tweets." Thank you for sharing!