It often takes something to have happened to us before we have a different mindset or want to change. As we start to ease the restraints of lockdown that we have been part of now for several months. Many people have become more aware of the normal things around us that most have never noticed, let alone stopped to enjoy.
Nothing in nature is ever normal and if you can find the beauty in anything and everything then your life will be greatly enriched. Those common things most don’t notice or give the time of day to have been the difference for many people over the last several months.
Pausing, watching and listening to nature that has always been there is one of the massive positives to come from our forced confinement in the name of protecting our population and our beloved National Health Service from this deadly virus.
That first contact with nature is powerful and enriches your life and soul more that I could ever describe in words. Most things in the natural world are now accessibly, with the right guides and local knowledge most species can be seen and photographed safely and with the subject’s welfare first and foremost.
As the need for more remoteness and travels maybe curtailed due to the covid19 in the present I’d like to invite you all too just pause for a moment and actually look at what wildlife you have around you that is sharing the same space.
I am very lucky to have seen many beautiful species of wildlife around the world, I pinch myself at times. But when I arrive home there is one sound that just makes me smile and transports me right back to when I was a young birdwatcher with my second-hand 8×40 binoculars and that is the male Blackbird.
Not given the attention it deserves these beautiful birds live right under our noses at times. Each year one family builds a nest not far from my home, between the months of March and late June I listen out intently for the birds alarm calls that instantly tell me something is not right.
More often their young fall out of the nest built for them and are then scattered as Magpies look for an easy meal. It’s like a real life TV drama playing out for me with all the ups and downs.
Many species of birds start their dawn choruses at different times, birds with larger eyes have a greater visual sensitivity and resolution than birds with small eyes. Experts conclude that songbirds with large eyes start to sing at lower light and much earlier than species with smaller eyes. So low light levels influence the times at which birds start to sing at dawn.
One of these songbirds is the Blackbird, who often starts their calls way before first light. In some cases they can even sing during the night. The second bird to sing way before other birds is the Robin. Both of which can be heard on this recent recording I did around four o’clock in the morning. Both of these birds songs I love and are among my very favourite.
In life just as wildlife photography don’t ever think something is normal. There is always something different to see and a beauty to discover. Things have changed over the last few months for all of us, but one thing that reminds resolute is that nature is our constant companion through everything and we have to look after it more than ever now moving forward. Next time you hear a bird singing, stop and just listen. I promise you that you will be so moved and enriched by the whole experience.