by Matthew Cobb
BBC Radio 4 has launched a new daily series on British songbirds, ‘Tweet of the Day’. It’s two minutes long, narrated by David Attenborough and is on at 5:58 AM London time. Given that, one way or another, many WEIT readers will be in bed at that time, here’s the link so you can all listen to it. You get the end of the farming programme for a few seconds, before the thrush and Attenborough kick in.
Attenborough quotes Robert Browning’s poem ‘Home Thoughts from Abroad’:
Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows -
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge -
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
And here’s a video of various song thrushes tweeting away: