A signal of summer: the song of the Yellowhammer

Giddy from the result at Wimbledon and from the heat of a summer evening, I can reflect back on a crazy few weeks, which included my Stag-do and explains (though perhaps doesn’t excuse) my absence from the blogosphere.

Yesterday morning, I took a few hours to breathe in the hot summer air of the countryside.


I walked through meadows and cornfields and woodlands…




Kilwick Wood

There was typical livestock, such as this late-season lamb with its early-season playmate…


… and atypical, such as this huge-horned bovid…


I photographed an array of summer flowers (which I don’t have time now to identify)…


Thistle 3


Thistle 2

Thistle 1


I was accompanied throughout my walk by birdsong: the eerie cries of soaring Buzzards, the tinkling of Goldfinches, and the piercing calls of speeding Swallows and Swifts (our beloved birds of summer). But the voice which signals summer to me more than any other is the song of the Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella). Some say it sounds like, “A little bit of bread but no cheese”. I am not sure I entirely agree. Either way, standing to watch a male proud at the top of his tree sing his heart out was a moment of real summer joy as profound, but perhaps not quite so ecstatic, as watching a British man win Wimbledon after 77 years. At least I know I won’t have to wait that long to watch the Yellowhammer sing again.




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