Urban audio

It feels like forever since I wrote my last blog post! Unfortunately I’ve been busy with sixth form work and mocks, as well as feeling quite under the weather so, for me, its been a slow start to the year. However getting outside and exploring my local patch is always a technique I use the most to help me get through it all. One thing I realised is that not being attached to social media and my blog every day and week isn’t the end of the world, in fact its been very beneficial as the breaks been nice. On the other hand though, its always great to get back up to date with all thats been going on on social media. It’s also been a very odd feeling having not written anything for my blog or about something I’m genuinely interested in for so long too!

Anyway, having time away from my laptop and phone screen is good but it’s something I won’t completely detach from as it’s just as helpful. I’m never too far from it all though, whether it’s the walk on my patch or, for example, just before Christmas I received some letters from a local primary school talking about their passion for nature. The letters were lovely and really made me realise how important nature was to them all, and how I felt exactly the same as them when I was their age. It really brought me back, but also made me think how unfortunate some youngsters are nowadays to not get these experiences. A small quote from one of the letters which I think we can all relate to is ‘I like nature because it’s not man made’. It may be a simple sentence but the meaning is very powerful.

This made me think about where my roots come from and, I imagine, does for some of you too. Nature is a very important thing and all aspects of it too. Some may have seen that just before Christmas I got myself an audio recorder (also known as a Dictaphone). I originally brought this so I can improve my bird call ID skills as going out onto my patch and hearing a bird calling and not knowing what it is can be very frustrating. However I’ve been taking it out with me almost everyday and when just standing there really listening you really get a proper listen of the call. It’s no longer just the song or the call or the noise coming from the bird but what makes that vocalisation so different from bird to bird, area to area, and so on. Its definitely helped me with my call ID and I hope to carry on with it through the year as well as share what I record. You can hear a few examples of what I’ve shared using Soundcloud below.

Also last Sunday evening I went down to my local city centre, Lichfield, to get an audio of the pied wagtails as they prepare to roost (as they’re very noisy!). Some may remember that this time last year I went along with my camera and did a short video of them, at this time of the year when the weathers colder. Some examples of why they’re roosting here in a city centre are as it’s much warmer than in the neighbouring countryside and there are less predators about. However this isn’t entirely true! After their numbers grew, they circled above a few times before settling in the tree. At this point I watched a sparrowhawk dive in but unfortunately missed. That wasn’t the end of that though, about five-ten minutes later, the number of wagtails carried on growing and they got noisier and noisier before the only sound that came from them was the echo of their wings beating as the sparrowhawk came back for another attempt but again, missed. It was certainly a sight though, watching the bird weave between the shops in almost darkness. Even though sparrowhawks don’t actually hunt at night (well this was dusk), this one is obviously aware of the gathering at this time.

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