jamie oliver and chaffinch song variation

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The other night that Jamie Oliver was on the telly. It was a new programme where he goes round different places drenching food in copious amounts of olive oil while having staged mock-matey chats to locals. Pukka, innit? Anyhow, while he was drenching something else with olive oil (al fresco) in Venice I could hear a Chaffinch singing in the background. So far, so inane. However, the Chaffinch song was markedly different from the song we hear in the UK and my interest rose a little....

When I wur a lad dear reader, I was given a little aide memoire about how to recognise a Chaffinch song. Imagine a fast bowler approaching the wicket to bowl. Curtly Ambrose will do. As he approaches the wicket, the frequency of his footfall will increase as he approaches and delivers his 90mph Yorker. The Chaffinch song is likened to this footfall. Listen out next time – works a treat.

Now, as you may know, birdsong can vary from region to region and I find that the ones I notice the most are Chaffinch and Wren – probably because they are quite structured bursts of song and that’s why it was pretty easy to notice the difference. The Italian Chaffinch song started as ours does but there is a slight but noticable pause before the final flourish.  My meandering point is that the children of Italy cannot have the same aide memoire because the song is different. Oh, and they don’t play cricket.

I suppose that it could be compared to a footballer taking an illegal penalty.  Jogging up, pausing to put the keeper in one direction, and placing the ball in the opposite corner, scoring the goal without sanction.  Which some might think is apposite for an Italian striker. 

A Greenfinch doing 'lubbly-jubbly my old son'.


Related Posts with Thumbnails