Posted on 21 Comments

The Whitethroat


The Whitethroat - Cameos of Birdlife #11

Walking up our lane this morning a Whitethroat sang from deep within summer drifts of hawthorn and cow parsley ...

A rather crackly recording by Ludwig Koch from 1936.

More typically he would be bursting high above the hedgerow with a scratchy burst of song, before diving back into the shelter of the hedge. Almost as if he is saying 'hi look at me - here I am'.

a whitethroat bursting from the hedge the only sound
[...] “Suddenly he crosses to the tops of the hawthorn and immediately flings himself up into the air a yard or two, his wings and ruffled crest making a ragged outline; jerk, jerk, jerk, as if it were with the utmost difficulty he could keep even at that height. He scolds, and twitters, and chirps, and all at once sinks like a stone into the hedge and out of sight as a stone into a pond.”[...]

The Life of the Fields (1887) Richard Jefferies

Back home ...

indoors  listening to the whitethroat again

Artist Credit

The featured print of a Whitethroat is by Leo Paul Robert (1851-1923). Typical of his work - the birds pictured against a romanticised pastoral background.

A short biography can be found here: Biography


The recording by Michael John O Mahony is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto a website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world.

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martin smith
martin smith
June 2, 2021 2:22 pm

Great to hear Whitethroats. You describe it well, nd enrich my own experience

June 2, 2021 3:48 pm

Thank you, Clive, for “introducing” me to this bird, one that I’ve never heard or seen! I love your first verse! I’m sure Ed will want a cutting for the garden 😊

JC Home
June 2, 2021 4:06 pm

A very pretty little song from this one. Nice to wake up to.

June 2, 2021 5:03 pm

This painting inspires me!

June 2, 2021 10:34 pm

I love whitethroats and I hope they still spend their summer months in a local London Country park where we used to see them!

June 3, 2021 11:21 am

Awesome post and artwork. I love the lessons I took from this!

June 3, 2021 8:56 pm

What a beautiful song the whitethroat has. A very summery post

June 5, 2021 3:49 pm

[…] This summer hokku was composed by Clive Bennett. […]

Andrea Stephenson
June 5, 2021 6:29 pm

I’m not familiar with the whitethroat, but it sounds like a character of a bird 🙂

Andrea Stephenson
Reply to  Clive Bennett
June 7, 2021 12:17 pm

I may well have heard it – I can recognise some birds quite easily, but others tend to fade into the bigger song that I can’t tell apart!

Philip Strange
June 8, 2021 3:13 pm

Lovely picture! We do see the occasional whitethroat on the south Devon coast.