Soundings

Other Voices Walk 11 February

A cold February afternoon for our first Other Voices walk, but a warm welcome to everyone. On the way to the Lodge we heard fieldfare and redwing above us and flying to the tops of the beeches marking the edges of the fields. A stop to listen to a goldcrest in the sitka spruce, then spent a little time listening to a feeding flock of mixed great tit and blue tit, with a friendly robin feeding from the deep layer of decaying leaves.

Around the camp fire, while warming up, we discussed our various motivations for wanting to know more about bird language, and Robin shared his thoughts on the history of listening to birds, and of how humans at one time, and indeed all animals, likely need to be aware of bird language to help them survive.

Warmed, we set off down in to the valley, trying to hear a distant calling yellowhammer and then the sounds of blackbirds going to roost. Sit spots were chosen along the overgrown track on the north of the site and, spreading out, we sat quietly for half an hour, in the relative quiet, as day slipped into night.

Carefully picking our way across the damp earth by the stream we wandered slowly back to the lodge in darkness, had veggie stew and chatted until the time came to wander back to our cars, under the now risen full moon.