A BIRD OF THE ARTS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Species Yellowhammer -

The Yel­lowham­mer, with its strik­ing ap­pear­ance and dis­tinct song, has in­spired many writ­ers and mu­si­cians over the years. From poems about the bird by John Clare and Thomas Hardy, through to its song in­flu­enc­ing Beethoven’s Fifth, the Yel­lowham­mer has had a distin­guished fol­low­ing. But it is the work of one chil­dren’s au­thor in par­tic­u­lar that is for­ever linked to our com­mon­est bunt­ing. It was Enid Bly­ton who pop­u­larised the phrase ‘a lit­tle bit of bread and no cheese’ to de­scribe the song of the Yel­lowham­mer in one of her Fa­mous Five books,. She used it in other sto­ries as well and in a poem about the bird. The phrase so per­fectly de­scribed the bird’s song that it has be­come the stan­dard way to de­scribe it.

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