Songbird and the Castlekelly

Spring time in Yorkshire

Today feels like the first proper day of Spring 2018 in Yorkshire, the clocks have ‘sprung’ forwards and the evenings are lighter. Today it even felt warm in the sunshine prompting a rare splurge of spring cleaning (ok, tidying!) with the windows open. Despite being located relatively near a main road the birds were singing away outside and as I got started I came across a scrap of paper with some notes scribbled on it taking me back to this time last year…


The first snippet

I am no ornithologist, but I do my best to encourage birds to the garden with a bird feeder and bird bath which is kept topped up most of the time.  Around this time last year I started to notice a particular snippet of birdsong. It was loud, clear and could be heard  regularly both morning and night being distinct from the ‘ordinary’ sound the birds make in the garden. I made a note of it (as you do).

After a couple of weeks the distinctive call developed, still the same pattern but with an extra note at the end. I updated my note. 


second snippet

I made a point to listen out for the call, which came loud and clear and nearly every day, making me smile when I recognised it. ‘There you are’ I would say to the bird through the window (though I couldn’t see it).

As spring turned into summer the melody carried on developing and I kept making a note of its progression. By this time i’ve got to admit, I was hooked!

birdsong snippet

third snippet

I still had (and have) no idea which bird was responsible for it, despite rushing to the window many times on hearing it!

birdsong snippet

fourth snippet

Around late July the regularity of the song became less frequent, maybe several times a week rather than several times a day earlier in the year, though the melody carried on developing and I carried on keeping note.  By this time I was thinking I was going to hear a whole tune by the end of summer!

fifth snippet


The last couple of times I heard it were in August, by which time it had developed into an 8 note melody which sounded remarkably like the 1st bar of the second half of ‘The Castle Kelly’ reel!


sixth and final snippet


Sadly, there were no further developments, and August was the last time I heard it.  I really missed it once it was  gone. Do any of you bird enthusiasts out there have an idea what it could be? It’s just a small, ordinary garden, a variety of plants, fruit bushes, and a little untidy in places with lots of small ‘garden type’ birds (coal tits, dunnocks, robins etc..), as well as the odd wood-pigeon and crow!