Listen to the blackbird. The aroma of the pine trees, the forest resounds. An April morning.
Listen to the blackbird. The shimmering dawn’s light, the leafy glade, the gleaming branches. A morning in May.
his recording contains the songs of seven different blackbirds. The songs of these male birds are very different from each other – almost as if they have their own distinct styles. Each of these tracks was made without disturbing the bird in any way. In this way, it has been possible to record the blackbird’s song with all its natural tones. This much-requested recording is the product of many years’ work. I would like to thank everyone who has helped in its production.
Producer / Recording engineer
Track descriptions and background species
01 AT DAWN ON A MORNING IN MAY (7th May 2008, 04.15 Litene, Eastern Latvia) The tops of the spruce trees silhouette the shimmering light of the dawn. Further away at the edge of the woods, there is a sleeping farmhouse shrouded in the morning mist. Long before the farmyard cock will crow, this blackbird has perched on the treetop. At first, it seems as if he is tuning his voice before his morning song reaches its crescendo. NIGHTINGALE, GREAT TIT, SONG THRUSH, COMMON CHAFFINCH, COMMON CUCKOO, COCKEREL, WILLOW WARBLER, BLACK GROUSE, COMMON WOOD PIGEON, GREY-HEADED WOODPECKER, COMMON RAVEN
02 COMMON BLACKBIRD AND THE KARELIAN CHAFFINCH (8th May 2008, 05.00 Pedeze Daukstes, Eastern Latvia) The reflection of the lakeside forest and the blue sky are mirrored in the motionless waters of the small pond. The first leaves are budding on the branches of the birch trees. An evergreen spruce tree hangs its branches over the pond. A chirpy Karelian finch seems to be accompanying the more thoughtful chorus from the blackbird. TREE PIPIT, COMMON CUCKOO, COMMON CHAFFINCH, COMMON WOOD PIGEON, SONG THRUSH, COCKEREL, FIELDFARE, WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKER, WILLOW WARBLER
03 A MASTERSONGSTER IN THE FRAGRANCE OF THE WOODS (28th April 2006, Rumar Korppoo, Southwestern Finland) The slumbering forest is refreshed by an early morning shower. There is a heady aroma of damp mossy soil mixed with the freshness of the conifers. The flowing virtuosity of this blackbird emphasizes just how much that spring is in the air. COMMON CHAFFINCH, COMMON SNIPE, EUROPEAN ROBIN, GOLDCREST, LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER, SONG THRUSH, EURASIAN SISKIN, DUNNOCK, REDWING, BLACK GROUSE, WINTER WREN
04 BLACKBIRDS AND WOODPECKERS IN THE FOREST (7th May 2008, 05.15 Stradi, Eastern Latvia) Like a distinguished gentleman with an umbrella, the dead standing pine tree spreads its twisted branches over wooded wilderness. From deep within the shade of the branches of a spruce tree, one can just make out the song of a red-breasted flycatcher. The blackbird is spinning a complicated tale to accompany the morning rays of sunshine glistening through the canopy of branches. WOOD WARBLER, COMMON CUCKOO, COMMON CHAFFINCH, TREE PIPIT, RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, COMMON CHIFFCHAFF, WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKER, COMMON SNIPE, COMMON SANDPIPER, COMMON WOOD PIGEON, BLACK WOODPECKER, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT
05 THE FOREST AWAKENS TO AN APRIL DAWN (27th April 2009, 05.00 Kaislastenlahti Kuopio, Eastern Finland) At the base of a spruce tree, the sprig of a blueberry plant is pushing through the small mound of moss emerging from the melting snow and reaching out to the weak sunlight. The newly-risen sun illuminates the tops of the spruce trees, but further down there is still a dim green gloom. This male blackbird has just returned from his migration and he wishes to stake out his territory for all to hear. FIELDFARE, DUNNOCK, REDWING, MEW GULL, COMMON CHAFFINCH, SONG THRUSH, YELLOWHAMMER
06 EUROPEAN ROBIN, WINTER WREN AND BLACKBIRD (7th May 2008, 05.40 Stradi Celmalas, Eastern Latvia) It is the late morning in May in a mixed leafy forest. The joyful, deep tones of a blackbird resound from the branches of an old birch tree. Nearby, on the branch of a spruce tree, a robin bursts forth with a spirited melody. Further away, in the depths of the dense forest, on the lower branches of a thicket, one can hear the wren add his voice to this morning concert of birdsong. EUROPEAN ROBIN, WILLOW WARBLER, COMMON CUCKOO, GOLDCREST
07 THE BLACKBIRD, THE FINEST SONGBIRD IN THE FOREST (5th May 2007, 03.00 Hirvilahti Kuopio, Eastern Finland) In May, the northern forests resound with birdsong. There are many newcomers amongst the birds who are adding their voices to the forest symphony. One can hear the most magnificent dawn chorus in the woods by the lakes or at the edge of a meadow. But out of all these magnificent choristers, the flute-like song of the blackbird emerges as the most beautiful of all. BLACK GROUSE, REDWING, MEW GULL, COMMON CRANE, EURASIAN CURLEW, EUROPEAN ROBIN, WINTER WREN
Translated by Airi MacDonald and Ewen MacDonald 2010