Birdsong in a time of silence
‘Birdsong in a Time of Silence’ is the story of a man rediscovering his passion for birdsong and nature. Narrated against the backdrop of the current pandemic, the book opens by acknowledging the new awareness of birds and birdsong that was made possible by the coincidence of spring and the experience of lockdown. Starting with a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – the book proceeds through ten chapters to explore how birds sing, the variety of singing birds (including the arrival of summer migrants), the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong – ultimately demonstrating that natural history and human history cannot be separated. In closing, the book reflects on the collective reawakening brought on by this strangest of springs.
A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature.
“At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush”
As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us.
From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.