Friday, 21 May 2010

Mull's Musical Maverick

Here at Mull Magic, we believe birdsong to be one of Mother Nature’s greatest phenomena. We would simply be bereft without the free of charge musical accompaniment that emanates from every Tobermory garden each Springtime. Whether it be the simple, some say monotonous, song of a House Sparrow or the more complex and mellifluous refrain of a Blackbird, birdsong is something that we greatly enjoy and would never take for granted. It is beyond our comprehension to hear of people who conduct their lives oblivious to the various avian outpourings that assault our ears at this time of year.

‘International Dawn Chorus Day’, which was held on 2nd May this year, comes a little too early for the Isle of Mull, as many of our returning migrants have not yet put in an appearance, to help swell the sound of the island’s resident songsters. Mull Magic believes that setting your alarm for a pre-dawn awakening on a mid-May morning is something that every nature lover on Mull should do, at least once in a lifetime!

Our own Mull Magic alarm clock is administered by several male Blackbirds that compete for territorial rights in our Tobermory garden. The island’s ‘Dawn Chorus’ is like a huge avian orchestra. Resident Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Robins and Song Thrushes commence their song cycles early in the year and use the weeks before the return of our Summer visitors to fine tune their performances in time for the start of the Proms season – bird style!

At Mull Magic, in case you didn’t know, we don’t play favourites. However, we do admit to having a soft spot for our resident male Song Thrush, who keeps us entertained with his vocal repetition. Not for him the flutey romanticism of his Blackbird neighbours. Rather, if our Song Thrush has something to say, he makes sure that the whole of Tobermory is going to know about it!

If the Blackbird is the Jean Sibelius of the Tobermory ‘Dawn Chorus’, then the Song Thrush is Igor Stravinsky. Something of a musical revolutionary, it’s rant is packed with stylistic diversity. The Isle of Mull’s equivalent of a Nightingale, the Song Thrush is said to have as many as 220 variations to it’s song. That makes the bird that is singing in the garden as we write this more prolific than Lennon and MacCartney. Some say that their songbook only contains 200 ditties. How pop-tastic is that?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Jackie Wilson from Cumbria for the wonderful photograph of the male Chaffinch.