• Holt High Street

    Holt High Street

  • Morston

    Morston

  • Morston

    Morston

  • Sheringham Coast

    Sheringham Coast

  • North Norfolk Railway

    North Norfolk Railway

  • Seals At Blakeney Point

    Seals At Blakeney Point

  • Coastal Path

    Coastal Path

  • Sheringham Mural

    Sheringham Mural

  • Holkham

    Holkham

  • Wells Next The Sea

    Wells Next The Sea

  • Stody Gardens

    Stody Gardens

  • Wolterton Hall Woods

    Wolterton Hall Woods

  • Holt

    Holt

  • Stopping For  Coffee In Fakenham

    Stopping For Coffee In Fakenham

  • Cromer Pier

    Cromer Pier

  • Sheringham

    Sheringham

  • Cley Windmill

    Cley Windmill

Bird Song delight

Songbird2

Musician and folk singer Saffron Summerfield entertained us with her Zoom Talk for NNu3a on 7 April, about song birds, with many recordings made by her around the UK, in cities and countryside.

While she was living in a cottage in Rye Harbour,  playing her guitar on the beach Saffron discovered that birds like to sing with musicians. This was the beginning of her interest and passion for birdsong which has led to many projects creating soundscapes to give more people the opportunity to learn about why and how birds sing.

Birds learn to sing from their parents. Urban birds sing louder and higher, to be heard above the traffic noise. Song birds have a syrynx (where we have a larynx) that enables them to sing more than one note and to sing in a wavelength we can hear. The Grasshopper Warbler can sing 25 notes a second. The Marsh Warbler has great power and variety in its notes and can sing for 20 minutes without stopping. That beats Callas probably! The Bittern is the double bass of birdsong.

That shouty bird in your garden might be wren - it is the most common bird in Britain, 11 million pairs but we never seem to see them. It has an enormous voice for its size, ten times louder, weight for weight than a cockerel.

Saffron dispelled the myth that female birds don’t sing - yes they do, in certain climes and situations. Did you know that birds have regional dialects? Saffron illustrated this with recordings of the same species in different places in the UK - fascinating!

There is growing evidence that listening to birdsong has therapeutic value for people suffering depression, and just for relaxing and slowing down - something we can all benefit from.

In writing, it’s impossible to do justice to this delightful talk, illustrated by photographs and super bird song recordings.  You can see and hear about her Soundscapes, including her most recent at Norfolk Wildlife Trust at Cley at https://www.motherearthmusic.co.uk/soundscapes

David Riddle