An avian soundscape

The pleasure of bird song came up time and time again in the Sensing Nature project.

After writing a short piece about the Sensing Nature findings for the Macular Society ‘Sideview’ magazine, we were contacted by sound recording enthusiast, Graham Taplin.

Graham has been capturing bird songs, calls and other nature sounds for over 20 years and has very kindly shared some of these with us. We have woven these into one soundscape, which can be listened to at the bottom of this page.

Talking us through the sounds, Graham explained that he recorded the nightingale at dawn, around 4am, just as other birds were starting to wake up and join in.

The audio journey then fades into the sounds of brent geese; a recording Graham made on the seashore in Norfolk. Some were already starting to find their places for roosting, while others were calling as they flew down.

Moving on, you may pick up the sounds of a corn bunting, which has a sharp trill like keys jangling, and the familiar song of the skylark. A dunnock gives a short call before we transition into the sound of an oystercatcher, giving a good loud squawk as it flies past to join others on the mudflats.

When we asked Graham about his recordings, he explained:

“I have always been fascinated by birds calling and other sounds of nature. I wanted to capture their songs for identification and keep them for later to learn those that were unknown. Over time they became familiar. Many birds were hidden so learning the calls, particularly the migrants, was important. Some species have more than one call. They vary according to the season and time of day. Recording the sounds has been valuable for reference. Also they are a good way to relax”.

We hope you’ll enjoy the recordings and do let us know if so; Graham has kindly offered to share more recordings later in the year!

You can listen to the recording below.