Dunnock  - a common songbird in town and city gardens, image by Ray Piercy  

Whether you are confined to your garden, or can take a walk or exercise nearby, April and May are the prime time for bird song, and Sunday 3 May 2020 is #DawnChorusDay … are you up for a challenge?

I guess I’m lucky. I learnt bird songs over thirty years ago, and as warden and then site manager I’ve been able to brush up on these skills every year since. I know it’s not straightforward, but if you have an ear for birdsong and a willingness to try it pays off! It looks like magic when you say ‘ah – there’s a blue tit’ (or great tit, robin, blackbird, wren, dunnock, goldfinch…) singing’ and then the bird suddenly appears.

You can take a look at the family wildlife challenge for more information, and something to do with the kids. With a bit of patience you might become an expert…


Top tip: try and watch a bird you can identify while it is singing. Something like a robin, wren, blue tit or great tit. Make up a fun but memorable way to remember. For example, great tits seem to be singing ‘teacher teacher teacher teacher!’ Wood pigeons are known for their moaning ‘My toe hurts, Betty!’

Oh, and chiffchaffs sing ‘chiff chaff, chiff chaff’ – now that’s not too hard to remember, is it?