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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 11:19   #1
green eyes
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Birds singing at Night (UK)

Hi all

last night there were a lot of birds singing in the dark. I have heard the occasional bird disturbed by noise or an animal, but nothing like this before. It went on for several hours, and when I mentioned it on Twitter and another forum, people in various parts of the UK were hearing the same.

I am out a lot at night mothing and skygazing, so am familiar with the usual sounds of the night.

Anyone here notice it, and do you have any explanation?
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 11:35   #2
chris butterworth
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They were probably Robins as they commonly heard singing at night.

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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 12:14   #3
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There was a study published by some researchers in Sheffield that proposes a link between high levels of urban noise during the day and increased singing behavior at night in European Robins. There could be other factors or other birds involved in your particular observations, but you can read this paper here as a starting point, if you are interested...

http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.o...t/3/4/368.full
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 14:06   #4
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I know that where my wife works is well lit at night and Robins and Blackbirds are very active.
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 15:54   #5
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Robins are related to nightingales and will sing by street lamps in the dead of night.
you could also be actually hearing nightingales- but more likely robins. I believe blackbirds will sing fairly late , but don't think they will in the middle of the night.

RSPB say 'Street lights and floodlights can trigger singing in the middle of the night, and if roosting robins are disturbed, they can burst into song even in complete darkness.'
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 16:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
you could also be actually hearing nightingales- but more likely robins.
A common mis-conception- you won't be hearing Nightingales, as they are all currently sunbathing it out in Africa.
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 16:26   #7
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I get house sparrows at night singing
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 16:46   #8
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I get house sparrows at night singing
do you mean literally in the middle of the night or at dusk/evening?
and I guess by singing you mean chirping :)
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 16:47   #9
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A common mis-conception- you won't be hearing Nightingales, as they are all currently sunbathing it out in Africa.
ah yes sorry forgot they are on migration.
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 18:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
.
you could also be actually hearing nightingales- but more likely robins. '
As said they would be in Africa, and also depending on habitat unlikely.

wasn't there a poem about a nightingale in london, butit was actually a robin or something?
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Old Thursday 13th January 2011, 20:41   #11
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Black Redstarts do sing at night also
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Old Friday 14th January 2011, 19:34   #12
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Robin and Blackbird are the most likely night singers.

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Old Friday 14th January 2011, 19:41   #13
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I had the great good fortune to find myself lurking about outside Dundee station at around midnight last night. A Song Thrush was singing away very enthusiastically and several Robins were calling and occasionally singing. With lots of gulls around too there was probably as much bird activity going on as in the middle of the day.
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Old Tuesday 18th January 2011, 21:44   #14
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Recently i've heard Robins and Blackbirds singing at night and can't they be noisy!!

Last year when I went camping down in Suffolk, I was kept up most of the night by a Nightingale, which was singing all night...this was followed by the dawn chorus at 4am!

Lesson learnt but great to witness
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Old Thursday 20th January 2011, 19:50   #15
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By far the most likely is a Robin, they're the most common bird I hear singing in the dark.

There are quite a lot of birds singing/calling in the dark in the morning when I walk into work around 7am at the moment though, have been hearing Song Thrushes, Mistle Thrushes, Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens, Woodpigeons, Herring Gulls and Great Tits.
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Old Thursday 20th January 2011, 20:43   #16
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A little off topic, but, a friend of mine spent a week in a crofters cottage on the Outer Hebrides last summer and was kept awake at night by the Corncrakes......
The lucky so and so.
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Old Friday 21st January 2011, 09:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birding maniac View Post
As said they would be in Africa, and also depending on habitat unlikely.

wasn't there a poem about a nightingale in london, butit was actually a robin or something?
John Keats "Ode to a Nightingale" plus also the line from the Beatles "Blackbird singing in the dead of night"
Not the most uplifting of poems: here's the 1st verse:

MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.


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Last edited by jforgham : Friday 21st January 2011 at 10:11.
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