Monday, 1 March 2010

Dawn twitterings

Romeo is back at it in the earliest hours - but someone else has taken over two hours later: Benedict the blackbird starts at 4.30 am.  Even that's a bit early for the dawn chorus, a good hour or so before it's beginning to get light.  Funnily enough, Lucy Winkett told me something about this I didn't know before.  Not only are birds singing at night because of the light pollution, but in cities they're also affected by noise pollution.  Scientists have found that they sing higher, with less variation, and faster, and more loudly than their cousins in nearby forests.  As Ms Winkett says, what appears to happening is that they're singing like this and in the dark 'in order to make themselves heard over the human noise of low-pitched, monotonous, relentless sound.  Night has become the new day; the urban world is inside out.'  I suppose here we're on the fringe of the urban world, in English suburbia.

You can tell that Canon Winkett is the exception to the old joke about can(n)ons: 'The bigger the gun, the bigger the bore.'

We had lunch yesterday with my distinguished brother David (now why he's never been made a bishop, let alone a canon, I fail to understand) and his wife Clare.  He's the one who's just written the book you really need to read when P Pulman tries to fantasise about Paul and Jesus.  This morning she sent us a diverting link of silent monks singing the Hallelujah Chorus... we enjoyed it! ( )

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