Thursday, 10 March 2016

Birds Singing through the years

Regular readers of my blog might remember my Auntie Joan and how she always cut out articles from newspapers that she thought might interest us.
 My cousin does the same it's hereditary.
 In this age of technology when information is there at the touch of a fingertip it is still a wonderful feeling to receive an envelope through the post that contains snippets of information selected especially for you.
My cousin carefully cuts out articles from newspapers that she knows I will enjoy. It's marvellous to sit with my morning coffee and read these articles and know that she also has read them and that we are bound by not only our immense affection for each other but also our interests and passion.
Now this is cousin is the one that can glance out of the window and casually and confidently say 'oh look there's a Golden-crested wren and a Firecrest,' and I gape at her in awe.

Of the three articles that arrived yesterday, one was about some oak trees at Blenheim Palace. one was about Darwin and St.Paul's cathedral and one was an extract from a journal written during the first World War about the birdsong in France.
In these days of early spring it is such a joy to hear the birds melodic singing in the evening, the rousing trills of the dawn and the happy busy tunes as they dance about during the day.
On this day March 2 in 1916 a soldier at the front was listening to the bird song. One hundred years ago in a dark period of history the birds were still singing.

The article starts like this:-

' A summer and winter spent at the front have proved to me that the north of France is no birdless region. The noise and bustle of war even from the trenches....'

The author of the article goes on to talk about the variety of birds he sees in France and ends by saying

'Great, blue, marsh and long-tail tits are extremely common, and coal tits where there are fir trees, look exactly the same in France as they do in England, they speak exactly the same language including the same bad language. A naturalist who keeps his eyes and ears open will see on the Western Front practically all the birds he would expect in a southern English county.'

Very moving isn't ?



  1. How incredibly touching...and wonderful too that in the midst of war, a man could observe the beauty and variety of birdsong!

  2. It is amazing that someone can see beauty around them in the midst of horror and feels the urge to record it. Very evocative.