Saturday 27 April 2019

Stuff On My Phone (24)

I was sat in bed this morning, reading the paper (well, the online version), and vaguely aware of birdsong flowing in through the open window. The sounds were more varied than might be expected, not because of a huge number of choristers, but more for the exploits of a particular Starling.

It is possible that this bird's mission in life is to bamboozle my brain, but today it overplayed its hand. One short and unmelodic refrain was clearly a Corncrake, sadly, a species so unlikely in the environs of Tense Towers that I instantly knew it wasn't a Corncrake, but a mimicking Starling. My very next thought was...

"How does it know a Corncrake's call?!"

Whilst there are usually small numbers of this skulking and secretive bird present in Orkney during the Summer, I was not aware of any birds being recorded as holding a territory (and therefore calling) in East Mainland. So, was the Starling a visitor from somewhere else that does have a Corncrake territory, or has the call been handed down through the Hurtiso Starling flock from generation to generation, like some avian oral tradition?

And on the subject of birdsong, the latest music track I have downloaded is (incredible though it may seem for such a 60s/70s/80s guy) a just-released one, the RSPB's Let Nature Sing.

Melodic and for a good cause, win win.


Spadger said...

Hope the patient is feeling better now? Have you been able to ID all the calls as they play? I can (smart rse!), although I think there may be a couple of 'subliminal' background ones I'm not quite sure of.

Adrian Thomas recorded all of them a couple of years ago on a sabbatical when touring several reserves to, err, record bird song! I never found out why and it certainly wasn't initially to make this record either. So now you have some dull back story to it all and with no real connection 😂

Starlings will travel a considerable distance and I reckon said bird has lived with a corncrake somewhere.

Spadger said...

You wasn't reading the on-line Comicgraph per chance😂? Don't forget you have to be careful about who you know!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Thank you for the extra info, JD.

Spadger said...

Yes I read the Comicgraph last week. This week BASC (the last bit of the acronym is a bit misleading) are claiming there will be severe disruption to flights and a 7% risk of an air fatality now people are 'not allowed' to shoot woodpigeon. PMSL!

Song ID update - I've got 27 (poss 28) apparently there's 35 species.

Accidentally made a pocket call to second born yesterday - she texted it was the funniest ever had!

Imperfect and Tense said...

With all the recent highlighting of General Licences, I was prodded into action the other day when a social media post on a local site raised my hackles. Accompanying a photo of two Lesser Black-backed Gulls in a garden bird bath (therefore Lesser Black-bathed Gulls, no?) was a comment about how they should be shot for the damage they do to livestock. I helpfully pointed out that any licence granted for Great Black-backed Gull culling wouldn't cover the photographed species.