Site Descriptions (Scotland and England)

The following describes the areas in which the Scottish and English dialects were recorded.


CAT glen is a small glen running up to the east of Glen Clunie toward Carn an Tuirc. The area containing the Ring Ouzel territories is around one and a half by one kilometer. Seven singing birds were observed. All sang the simple flat whistle and no other simple songs. A bird singing the second type of Glen Clunie simple song approached a bird on the edge of the CAT glen area. This is the only incidence of dialect areas abutting each other that was observed.


The Glen Clunie area is around seven and a half kilometers long and contains many birds. At least seven singing birds were observed. All sang the two simple songs of the dialect. At the top of this area is the CAT glen area.


The Glen Shee area is near the top of Glen Shee where a stream comes into the main glen from the west. It is around 2 1/2 kilometers from CAT glen, edge to edge. It is relatively compact, comprising around 200 hectares. At least seven singing birds occupied this area in 2001. Birds here sing mainly three simple songs, the first, third and fourth in the row. The second was heard rarely from a few birds. It is of interest in that it is a smooth version of the third, burry or raspy simple song, the most frequently heard song. This variation is a common occurrence in the groups observed. See second and third songs in Glen Esk, and first and second pairs in Glens Clova, Isla and Turret, as well as North York songs.


The Glen Esk/Loch Lee area is around 25 kilometers from CAT glen and runs about 2 kilometers along the north shore of the loch. The haunting refrain heard from up near the cliffs is the fourth simple song in the Glen Esk row. The second and third songs were seldom heard and possibly from only one bird. These songs are at a lower tone than the first song. This is similar to the case of the two simple songs of a bird in Derbyshire. See below. Though only four birds were recorded several others were heard, all singing the first and fourth simple songs.


The Glen Clova area, between the Glen Clova Hotel and Glen Doll, is around 13 kilometers from Loch Lee and 18 kilometers from the Glen Shee area. Three or four Glen Clova birds were recorded in 2002 and 2003. These birds were not recorded as thoroughly as birds in Glens Esk, Shee and Clunie. They appear to sing the three simple songs shown commonly.


Only one bird was recorded in Glen Isla, around 8 kilometers from Glen Shee and 12 from Glen Clova. It was recorded on two occasions in Spring 2003 and sang the songs shown both times.


Only one bird was recorded in Glen Turret up above Loch Turret, around 50 kilometers from Glen Shee. It was recorded for an hour from its first songs of the morning. The number of times the first, second and third types of simple songs were sung in that period were, 216, 147, and 100, respectively. The counts are of groups of songs, not of individual songs, e.g., three songs in a group count as one. The first song type is delivered with and without the second accent note shown here. The songs played when the sonogram is clicked has the first of the group with the note, the second without. The bird delivers all versions of adding and deleting this accent note to the songs in groups.


Three birds were recorded in the North Yorkshire Moors. Two were neighbours and one was recorded about 4 kilometers from the two. The single bird and one of the neighbours sang both the first and second songs shown. The second bird of the neighbours sang only the second type, the raspy whistle. It also sang into the daylight and vociferously, suggesting that it may have been an unmated, and possibly young, bird.


Three birds were recorded in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Two were neighbours and the third was about 3 kilometers from the two. All three sang the first song shown, a high-pitched whistle. One of the neighbours sang the second, more deeply pitched song although less frequently than the high whistle. A local researcher said that the only bird he had heard singing the lower song was the bird I recorded.


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