Friday, 1 May 2009

The Phantom Sheepdog-Trials Bird and the evening chorus

The weather cleared to provide us with a lovely evening yesterday, so I went for a walk up the valley. Perhaps townsfolk never notice, but there is a distinct evening chorus and last night's was lovely. Our eldest daughter always prefers to walk in the evenings, and now I see why. Anyway, I came across the most peculiar bird. I called it the Phantom Sheepdog Trials bird as I couldn't see it or identify it. Its call was 4 very strong whistles (wheat-wheat-wheat-wheat), then two long Football Referee type whistles (wheeeeeeee-wheeeeeeeee), and then a little short scold. A lady PST bird answered, not as piercingly, but softer and throatier. They were hidden in the middle of a stand of larches, and I haven't the foggiest what they might look like. I thought at first that it was mimicking the whistles, but it was a repeated refrain and the hen bird answered in a similar fashion. I've looked and looked through my bird books but nothing like it. Anyone? What I want to know is, where's Bill Oddie when you need him?

Thoroughbred mare and fal on a neighbour's farm.

View cross the sun-drenched valley.

More ferns unfurling.

A few bluebells in the woodland beside the lane.

Our river looked so beautiful in the evening sunshine. Really tranquil.

Wild Ramsons just starting to flower.

Sorry - this is meant to be longer but my internet connection is VERY iffy. Photos aren't loading now.

P.S. I "think" that the bird might be a Nuthatch, though the recording I've heard of a Nuthatch isn't like what I heard, so - dunno . . .


  1. Have you discovered yet what the PST bird is? Lovely photo of your river, it looks, as you say, very tranquil.

  2. BB i think that might be a chaffinch,I saw one the other day singing its heart out & it sounds how I imagine your description sounded
    I am sat here listening to the evening chorus right now,I have been desperatly trying to load a video on my blog of a songthrush singing its heart out for days now but it wont work arrgg!
    Its such a lovely thing birdsong,its actually the loudest thing here most of the time lol!
    GTM x x

  3. It might be a Cetti's warbler


  4. I'm curious as to what your PST bird is, have you found out yet? Lovely pictures as always, the river is so pretty.