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Three Sounds of Early Spring

February is upon us and with it comes the promise of spring just around the corner. The nights are getting shorter and there are already more daylight hours to enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, we are not the only ones that react to the coming change of season, wildlife up and down the country is already preparing itself for the warmer days. Here are three key early spring sounds that you should be listening out for during your walks in February and March…

 

Birds Trilling

great spotted woodpeckerThe 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

Woodpeckers Drumming

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 frogFrogs Croaking

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

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