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Help identifying bird song?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by rhody247, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    For the third morning running I have been woken up at 4:45am thinking someone was pushing a wheelbarrow with a dry,squeaky wheel around my garden - only to realise it is a happy little bird singing its head off in the tree outside my bedroom window in the first light of morning.

    The same time each morning, who needs a digital alarm clock - this high pitched call is impossible to sleep through - and being 100% natural, living birdsong there is no snooze or mute button.

    As it is too dark to see - any ideas please what bird is making this early morning call which sounds like a dry, squeaky wheel?
  2. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    It'd be nice if you could grab a recording. The description is kinda ringing a bell in my brain but as yet I can't pin it down.
  3. Rustyknight

    Rustyknight Well-Known Member

    The RSPB website has lists of birds commonly seen in the UK, and under each species there's a tab for listening to their call.

    It might pay off if you check out the most likely suspects, but could take a long time if the species you're hearing is a rarity.....

    Good luck! :cool:
  4. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I'm now quite deaf, and don't have my hearing aid in when sleeping, and now easily sleep through the phone ringing; but I have been awakened like you by bird song, and have taken my recorder outside to make quite good recordings, and with very little traffic noise.
  5. Jacqui Jay

    Jacqui Jay Grasshopper's Sage

    This is a very good idea.
    Start your search with the grasshopper warbler, quite a rarity, I'm very jealous if it is!

    More likely is a sedge warbler; or maybe a whitethroat, although its song is a bit more melodious; good luck with the search.
  6. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    Being in a garden and at that time in the morning it's more likely to be a blackbird, a thrush or a wren I would have thought but without a recording it's really dificult to say.
  7. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    A shotgun would be far more effective.
  8. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestions and help everyone - very much appreciated.

    I tried the direct links to the RSPB web Jacqui thank you, but it is much harsher and penetrating than any of those you kindly suggested.

    It really is an irritating, impossible to sleep through piercing noise - which grates perfectly on the senses.
    A real treat to have to listen to at 4:45am :-(

    It would make a very good sound effect for an alarm clock - you would have to shut it off or it would drive you mad.

    I'll see if I can record it tomorrow morning if it goes for its 4th consecutive, "let's celebrate the first rays of dawn" performance.

    I still want to know what it is though now - it's made me very curious indeed.
  9. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Could be a great tit or a chiffchaff - they both make a noise that sounds like someone filing a bit of tin, which isn't far off your description.

  10. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Or it could be a starling, they are great impersonators of noises and come out with all sorts of sound effects!
  11. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    Filing a bit of tin - that is such a good description of it. Mind jarringly irritating and impossible to sleep through or ignore.

    I'll check out the RSPB web site later for bird calls. Thanks very much.

    Thanks for the starlings being great impersonators Fen - ingenious little beggars aren't they?
  12. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    Very many thanks everyone.

    Grey1720 nailed it in one - the culprit is unquestionably a Great Tit.


    Having listened to the superb RSPB recording, my Tit must be singing with a regional "Pompey" accent as it is very coarse, harsh and irritating and it repeats the first few bars of the RSPB recording over and over and over with none of the melodic bits the RSPB have managed to record at all.

    Can birds have regional accents? The feathered equivalent to Estuary English? LOL

    Thanks again everyone - problem solved.
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Always happy to handle queries involving tits! :)
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    What happens when the RSPB recording is played back to the bird?
  15. Rustyknight

    Rustyknight Well-Known Member

    I know a couple of photographers who have a small selection of bird calls recorded on their mobiles (water rail, little grebe, great crested grebe, and a few others....). Playing them back sparingly in early spring does actually attract the real life corresponding species. ;)
  16. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Post of the year so far :D
  17. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    From the now very politically incorrect Benny Hill show (I think)

    "Tits like coconuts (pause) and sparrows like breadcrumbs"

    I blame grey1720 for making me recall that old joke........................
  18. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    Judging by the volume of my little tit at 4:45am, he is the lonely alpha male calling far and wide at the top of his voice for a mate
  19. rhody247

    rhody247 Well-Known Member

    In perfect keeping with his previous appearances, my little,tin filing tit is singing his head off again today at 4:48am.

    He is more accurate with his timekeeping and harder to ignore than my bedside alarm clock :)
  20. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    I know it wouldn't be very kind on the little chap, but why not play one of the birds of prey at it? It may recognise one of the harriers, perhaps with a printed silhouette of the bird of prey blu-tacked to the window, and shut his gob? Or if you could find a distress call of its own species you could dupe it into thinking there was a bit of trouble afoot and it'd scarper.

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