Welcome to St.Andrews in Focus

St Andrews in Focus - Issue 78 Sept / Oct 2016

From the Editor

Flora Selwyn August 2016

Birds puzzle me. I have goldfinches, greenfinches, chaffinches, bullfinches, blackbirds, sparrows, blue and great tits, an occasional thrush, and for the second year running none of them is singing. I’ve opened my window several times at the crack of dawn (sometime between 2.00am and 3.00am) hoping to hear a dawn chorus – nothing.

The only bird in my garden singing, apart from the pesky wood pigeons and gulls, is the faithful wren. A blackbird did try a rather half-hearted attempt at singing, mostly to himself, before giving up completely. Rachel Carson wrote about a silent spring, but she was talking of an Apocalypse. I garden organically and everything is thriving.

We do live in strange times! A year or two ago I was startled one dark November evening to hear a blackbird in full voice in a tree in South Street; none of the passers-by seemed remotely interested. I have recorded both blackbirds and thrushes in my garden before last year. A sparrow hawk has occasionally visited, but things generally returned to normal thereafter. Can anyone suggest a reason for my silent birds?

Flora Selwyn 

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