Bird Song: Five to master

Woodlands provide some of the most attractive landscapes in the country. Our resident breeders will be hitting their mid-season form, singing their hearts out, while a new wave of summer visitors will be adding to the chorus over the next few weeks.

However, a walk in the woods can be a frustrating time for the unprepared birdwatcher. You can hear the wonderful array of songs on offer, but the blighters are hidden up there somewhere in the trees or down in the undergrowth, or simply behind the rich new-growth foliage.

The solution, of course, is to learn the songs and calls, so you can know what’s vocalising out there and save your eyes for searching for the rest. So, to start you off, we’ve put together the quick guide to the main players in the woodland chorus. If you can master these five species, you are most of the way to mastering most of the songs of British woodland.

Stop, look, listen!

Owing to the complexities of woodland, you can hear far more birds than you will ever see (as they are hidden by branches and foliage).

Take your time and try to listen to and concentrate on one sound at a time. By taking your time you will pick up repeated patterns and phrases and get used to the structure, rhythm and tone of the sound.

When you get used to the dominant sounds of the wood, it becomes much easier to isolate unusual ones.