The fieldfares have headed north for the spring, taking their rachety cackles with them, and the more southerly winds have brought the next wave of migrants from the south. I heard my first blackcap of the year singing by Cotterstock mill pond this morning. It’s like a glorious, silvery fanfare for spring that lifts my spirits every time I hear it.
As I was walking past a barn that’s being lovingly renovated on the main street someone called out my name. He explained that he was Phil Rudkin’s wife’s cousin and Phil had asked to be remembered to me.
Phil lives over Stamford way and is a skilled and knowledgeable birdsong recordist. I remember going to a talk he gave in Cotterstock village hall getting on for 20 years ago when I was first starting to record nightingales. He was an inspiration at the time, and generously shared his knowledge and encouragement on the few occasions when our paths have crossed since then. A genuinely lovely man.
It seemed fitting to be reminded of him just after hearing my first blackcap. It’ll be a pleasure to email him with the news.