The soundtrack of our glorious birds builds fast during February. Count how many species are singing in the dawn chorus each day and you will see how the cast grows as the days pass. From sweet melodies to complex tunes, and chattering, warbling, whistles or trills to simple two-tone calls, the variety of sounds is remarkable. With territories to be staked and partners to be attracted or reacquainted, this is a serious business.
Best walks for hearing birds: Woodlands, moorlands, parks, farmland, hills and dales
Not all birds use song to make themselves heard. Woodpeckers hammer on trees using their beaks to create a drumming sound which travels for long distances. This drumming is used to mark their territories, so the further the sound travels, the better, and they seek out hollow trees and branches for a louder result. Before you think about trying this at home, remember woodpeckers have built-in shock absorbers – pockets of air in their skull and strengthened bone tissue – which means the drumming isn’t as painful as it may sound.
Best walks for hearing woodpeckers: Woodlands and farmland copses
Common frogs are amongst the first species of the year to get on with breeding. Listen out for frogs croaking, particularly after rain (and we’ve had plenty of that this winter!), as they call for a mate. Ponds and ditches are often filled with a mass of frogs consumed with the need to reproduce and frogspawn will soon be a common sight across the country.
Best walks for hearing frogs: Ponds, lakes and farmland ditches
4 February 2018