Monday, 9 April 2007

The Herald of Summer

Most people have something that triggers an inner feeling of belief in the world's regenerative powers each year. It might be spring flowers, it could be frog spawn or catkins or new leaves on the trees, but for me it is the first time I hear a Willow Warbler each spring. It has a beautiful but simple song, a mellow downward cadence, that for me signifies that the renewal of summer is about to begin. The earliest I have heard a Willow Warbler was the 29th of March and the average is about the 5th or 6th of April, so this year is quite late. This morning, between a group of us, we found six at Bockhill. I suspect that they were newly arrived as they hardly stopped feeding to give brief songs. For a bird that weighs about seven or eight grammes (about four to the ounce) the round trip from Northern Europe to winter in sub-Saharan Africa and back in the spring is an amazing feat and their return each year is worth waiting for.

1 comment:

tut-tut said...

Amazing, isn't it, that species are so programmed (on a cellular level?) to do what they do? Thanks for the link to the song.