Lockdown is for the birds – but a radio station is asking you to record the sounds now you can hear them!
It seems lockdown really is for the birds! As the number of vehicles on the roads decreases, it’s much easier to hear the songs, twitters and warbling of our feathered friends. For some city-dwellers it might even be the first time they’ve noticed their varied sounds.
Now a unique radio station has had the idea of inviting its listeners to share the sounds they can hear from their window, garden or outdoor space.
RNIB Connect Radio is a station with a difference. It is run by the leading sight loss charity RNIB. Based in Glasgow, the multi-award-winning station broadcasts news and entertainment aimed at listeners who are blind and partially sighted across the UK.
“It’s probably fair to say our audience is especially tuned to sound,” says station manager Yvonne Milne. “Indeed, they can often be more aware of the possibilities and nuances of how sound can convey moods, emotions and information. But anyone can listen to RNIB Connect Radio.
“I think listening to the birds is a wonderful idea, and not just for ornithologists. It could be very relaxing and stress-relieving, especially at such a fraught time when people are house-bound. And it’s a chance for many of us who live in towns and cities to appreciate a dimension of sound that has always been with us, just lost under the cacophony of everyday urban life.”
RNIB Connect Radio is inviting people to share the sounds they are hearing, and is offering a few tips for recording on your phone: Hold your phone carefully, as movements can be picked up by the mic. Put your phone into ‘airplane’ mode and mute your notifications. Record a minute at most on the recorder on your phone and then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d love to hear sounds of different birds from different parts of the UK,” says Yvonne. ” We’re backing this up with interviews about how to identify different birds and are hearing from blind bird lovers. We’ve also had Iolo Williams from BBC’s ‘Winter Watch’ talk to us about birds and give us some tips.”
RNIB Connect Radio – a mix of news, chat, music, sport and audio-book readings – broadcasts in the Glasgow area on 101FM, and is available across the UK on Freeview 730 and online.
* For advice and support for blind and partially sighted people, the free RNIB’s helpline on 0303 123 9999 is open 8am till 8pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.