As I entered the park this morning I saw an elderly gentleman and a young girl peering into the Pyrocantha bush which stands alone in the grassed playing area and I wondered what had caught their attention, so I decided if they were still there after I made my slow perambulation around the park I would go and see. Well, they were still there. Whatever it was had them circling the bush, peering in and looking up. As I got closer I knew what it was: the bush was singing. It was a wonderful chorus of birdsong.
Whilst growing up I remember hearing birds singing in country hedges, but it was not until sometime in the mid-1980s that I heard my first singing hedge in a town. I was in Louth, Lincolnshire, at the time and had walked into a carpark to collect my car. It was late-afternoon and I was met with a wall of birdsong coming from a very long hawthorn and holly hedge. As I got closer the birds stopped singing all at the same time and it was suddenly eerily quiet. I stopped and stood still and the birds began their chorus again. I listened for what seemed like an age until someone else came into the carpark and the chorus stopped. It was one of life's memorable moments.
Since then I have listened for, and heard, singing hedges in lots of other places in towns. Our own back garden is one such place. I have heard birds in the Pyrocantha bush before, but this morning they were singing their hearts out. Perhaps they were using song to fight for nesting sites in this thorniest of bushes? From time to time, there is talk of removing the bush and everytime I have objected. As I have said in at least one previous blog post, it is my favourite bush in the park, as much for what it reminds me of as for it has become. In May it will be in full blossom and a sight to behold. Something to look forward to over the coming weeks.
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