I was standing on the riverbank yesterday morning, looking across at the trees and thinking how beautifully the birds were singing again. After the silence of the moult a different voice seems to join in every day. The volume was nowhere near as loud as the spring chorus but there were wrens and robins, chiffchaffs, tits of all kinds (including great tits belling away) and a quiet but insistent blackcap. Wood pigeons, crows and redkites in the background too.
Then I heard male voices, and two single canoes appeared round the bend. They were talking loud and deep, the sound of men’s camaraderie in shared physical exertion. They paddled through pretty quickly and their voices fell away. I went back to giving the birds my full attention, but there was nothing. They’d stopped singing.
It was slightly alarming. I walked along the bank for a bit, then came back, and gradually their singing voices came back too. Soon after there was the relaxed swish and putter of a narrow boat. As it came by there were three older gentlemen at the front and one steering at at the rear. They were silently munching on doorstop white bread sandwiches, trailing the smell of frying bacon in their wake.
And the birds just kept on singing There was no fall off in their sound at all. Food for thought…