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The Magic

  • Mon 20th May, 2019

Imagine rock pooling; when you first look into the water, you see nothing. Then gradually, as if your eyes were clearing, you notice the vivid colours of the seaweed, the slow amble of a hermit crab, a fish dart between shadows, a shrimp flitter here then there.

The majestic miniature kingdom was always there, whether you could see it or not, and that's also the magic of birdsong.

Wren in song © Dougie HoldenWren in song © Dougie Holden

I had the good fortune to walk through the woods with someone whose ears are as clear as our eyes could be with the rock pool.

Experiencing the magic of birdsong on the recent NT & YCN event © Richard BainesExperiencing the magic of birdsong on the recent NT & YCN event © Richard Baines

The experience transported me into another world entirely as he opened up layer upon layer of music that my ears usually discounted.

Yellow Wagtail in song © Richard BainesYellow Wagtail in song © Richard Baines

Among them the rich, melodic warbling of the blackcap, its fluting notes proud and clear and it's powerful tacc became fully audible to me. I heard the tic-tacing thrup of the dashing long-tailed tits. I found I could discern the subtle, woeful notes the dark capped bullfinch dropped on us and I could detect the secret high-pitched tsee-tsee-tsee of the calling treecreeper.

Like stirring from a dream, my consciousness was awakened to the composition ringing around the trees.

The birds were speaking and I could understand - I was in their world, for that brief moment in time.

Susie O'Neill

Susie works for the RSPB based at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve. She is also a local author. We are very pleased at YCN to welcome her on to our writing team, look out for more encounters on our news section soon! You can read her YCN profile Click Here.

More info and to book on our birdsong workshop coming soon Click Here