An American Choir in Lincolnshire (2): A Quest for the Birds We Sing

Updated: Aug 14, 2018

Spoiler: the birds of Lincolnshire were fairly disappointing, though I still saw plenty. I think several factors contributed to that scenario: the time of year (late July when fewer birds are singing because they're raising families), a weeks-long drought, and monoculture crops - vast fields of wheat with nothing else for miles. My best observations were around water. I didn't get to see or hear Tawny owl, Skylark, Nightingale, or Cuckoo. It worries me that these ubiquitous birds of song and poetry are just not around, and we were in a quite rural area where I thought there would be more to see and hear. I really wanted to a Cuckoo herald the summer, as the old, old song says.

White or PIed Wagtail

One common bird was the White or Pied Wagtail, which earned its name through its incessant tail movements. Benjamin Britten set Thomas Hardy's poem Wagtail and Baby in his Winter Words. Op.52.

And I did get to see a juvenile Grey Partridge, though disappointingly it was not in a pear tree...

Juvenile Grey Partridge, Lincolnshire, UK

In Lincoln Cathedral, there are plenty of birds and other critters, both real and fantastic. I enjoyed hanging out with this little carved wooden owl in the 14th-century choir stalls as we sang evensong every day.

Carved wooden owl, Lincoln Cathedral choir stalls

More to come.

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© 2018 Rachel Evangeline Barham

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