June has been an anti-climax for me, after the excitement of a spring recording trip.

However, there is always something of interest and early in June, I heard a strange sound in a neighbour’s suburban back garden. I should recognise all my garden birds by now but this call was new to me.

In tone and pitch, it resembled the general ‘sreee’ alert given by Robins etc but it was very much louder and could even be described as a ‘wail’. I wondered if it came from one of the numerous young fledglings around but it sounded too loud.

The moment passed but I heard this again intermittently during June and when I eventually had a sight of the bird that turned out to be the territorial cock Blackbird. Mnn!

Magpies are never far away and I wondered if this was a specific or referential alarm-call, but subsequent observations failed to corroborate this theory.

On 3rd July, I was outside watering the hanging baskets when I heard this again and my cock bird gave a long series of about 15 calls from my immediate neighbour’s chimney stack, one of his regular song posts. By now, he was looking scruffy.

I rushed indoors to get my gear but of course, I emerged too late on that occasion. Nevertheless, I spend a couple of hours that evening waiting and hoping and eventually captured the elusive call along with all the familiar Blackbird alarms.

I was fooled by the volume and I over-cooked the first ‘take’ but recovered to ‘bank’ two well-modulated samples which I have posted herewith

      Cock Blackbird

Is this call unusual or have I been missing something for years?


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