Birdsong Bagatelles-Edward Cowie

Posted on September 24th, 2015 by

Birdsong Bagatelles (Quartet No.5)-Edward Cowie
Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde)
Unedited Session Outtakes 23 9 15 St John the Baptist Aldbury
Engineer Jonathan Haskell

Grey Heron

….brancher, crane, diddleton, frank, ern, frog-eater, harn, harnser, harnsey, hegrie, yern, yarn, varn, tammie herl, skiphegrie, ooze bird…

Grey Heron (Ardea cinera)

Grey Heron (Ardea cinera)

Mute Swan

Mute Swan (cygnus olor)

Mute Swan (cygnus olor)

I will play the swan,
And die in music

(Othello, Act 5, Scene 2)


I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.(Tennyson ‘The Brook’)

Coot (Fulica Atra)

Coot (Fulica Atra)


Black-headed Gull

‘one day about AD550 the blackheaded gulls, flying as usual along the coast of Wales, found floating in a Coracle, a human baby a day or two old ….’ (the finding of St Kenneth)

Black-headed Gull (Larus Ridibundus)

Black-headed Gull (Larus Ridibundus)


Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

‘Expect Martin’s summer, halcyon days’ (Henry VI, Act 1, Scene 2)


Wren - on the back of the Farthing (Troglodytes Troglodytes)

Wren – on the back of the Farthing (Troglodytes Troglodytes)

…Bobby wren, chitty, crackadee, Cracket, crackeys, crackil, cuddy, cut, cutteley wren, cutty, gilliver wren, guradnan, Jenny, jitty, juggy wren, titmeg, two fingers….


Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)


‘Call for the robin-red-breast and the wren/since o’er shady groves they hover,/and with leaves and flowers do cover/The friendless bodies of dead men’ (John Webster-The White Devil)


Song Thrush

Song Thrush (Turdus Philomelos)

Song Thrush (Turdus Philomelos)

Terrifying are the attent sleek thrushes on the lawn,

More coiled steel than living-a poised

Dark deadly eye, those delicate legs

Triggered to stirrings beyond sense – with a start, a bounce,  a stab

Over take the instant and drag out some writhing thing … (Ted Hughes, ‘Thrushes’)




…apple bird, whitewing, binkie, wet chaff, charbob, tree lintie, chay, spink, chink chink, flackie, shelier applie…

Blue Tit

‘Withering things they ackimules: they ought to be kicked to flames.’ (Henry Williamson, ‘Tarka the Otter)

(Blue Tit) Parus Caeruleus

(Blue Tit) Parus Caeruleus


Wood Pigeon

Woodpigeon (COlumba palumbus)

Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

“permitted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) to be ‘killed by authorised persons at all times”



Green Woodpecker






Tawny Owl




(Common_Kestrel)Falco tinnunculus

(Common_Kestrel)Falco tinnunculus



Grey Partridge


The partridge makes no nest but on the ground

Lays many eggs and I have often found

Sixteen or seventeen in a beaten seat

When tracing o’er the fields or weeding wheat

The lay in furrows or an old land rig

Brown as the pheasant only not so big

They’re often found by pasture boys at play

And by the weeders often ta’en away

The boys will often throw the eggs abroad

And stay and play at blind eggs on the road

They lay in any hole without a nest

And oft a horse’s footing pleases best

And there they safely like till weeders come

When boys half fill their hats and take them home (John Clare ‘The Partridge’s Nest’)


To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet

Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward

And dare us with his cap like larks. (Henry VIII, Act 3, Scene 2)



Augurs and understood relations have

By maggot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth

The secret’st man of blood. (Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4)

Magpie (Pica pica)

Magpie (Pica pica)