Z made a boob over tits

As I said the other day, I am lamentably bad at distinguishing one songbird from another.  I’m okay with other birds on the whole, largely because their voices are easier to distinguish – I mean, you can’t really mistake an owl or a pigeon, even if you’re slightly hazy on the specific breed – but the thing is, unless you’re with a person who can tell you, when you hear a pretty warbling sound, you then have to peer around to find the bird that’s singing and then identify it.  If you’re both shortsighted and unobservant, as I am (and the second does, to quite some extent, follow on from the first), this isn’t all that easy.

However, nowadays there’s an app for most things, and I’ve downloaded one onto my phone and I listened to various birds.  The first thing was that I discovered that it was a great tit I heard and saw the other day.  It was at the top of a hedge with the light behind it, I couldn’t see well enough.  At least I know a tit when I see it.  I also confirmed that I recognise the song of a blackbird.  Otherwise … oh dear, this is not going to be easy.  It’s not exactly that they all sound similar, but that there isn’t enough to go on, to remember which one is which.

I asked Russell to identify some and he proved to be as bad as it as I am, similarly recognising the blackbird but not the robin, bluetit or chaffinch.  I was somewhat encouraged by this as, though he’s fairly close to tone deaf (or at any rate, as uninterested in music as anyone I’ve ever known and not able to hold much of a tune), he’s very fond of birds and grew up in the country, unlike me.  He’s also much more observant than I am.

Ah, I’ve just heard a pheasant in the garden. I know what he sounds like.

9 comments on “Z made a boob over tits

  1. tim

    I can do you magpies (pneumatic drills) and jays (blocked drains), plus the usual suspects you mention, but otherwise, I’m bird-blind too.

    Irresistible subject line, BTW.

    Reply
  2. 63mago

    As much as I like those lovely feather balls … but I always recognize the song of a great tit, its sounds like “cis-cis-be” to me.

    Reply
  3. Mike Horner

    The thrush ‘sings his song’ thrice over, so he’s easy to recognise. The yellow hammer sings ‘a little bit of bread and no CHEESE’, but they’re getting quite rare; and anyway, there’s not many I can hear now, let alone recognise.

    Reply
  4. kipper

    Same here. I can tell there are stellar jays out and about because their call always reminds me of metal Venetian blinds hitting a glass door or some reason. Otherwise completely inept in bird call identification.

    Reply
  5. Liz

    I lay in bed in the caravan last Sunday morning marvelling at the range of different bird sounds I could hear. I couldn’t have picked any one species out of that early morning performance.

    We have blue tits that come into our garden everyday and they do chirrup at me when I am at the washing line but sat here now, I cannot remember the exact sound they make.

    Reply
  6. Pontillius

    I was talking to the neighbour over the garden fence the other week about the birds, or lack of, in our gardens due to too many cats.
    She: “Well, I have got blue tits”
    Me: “It must be the cold”
    She: “Pardon?”
    Me: “Must go. My phones ringing”

    Boom, boom!

    Reply
  7. Z Post author

    We all seem to be much of a mind, or an ear – only recognise the most distinctive ones, except Mike. What a pity that you can’t hear them now, Mike.

    Pontillius, thank you for coming down to my level! I suspect that this post title will come up in many people’s searches over the next few weeks, to their complete disappointment.

    Reply

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