Andrew is also a Trustee of the Richard Jefferies Museum Trust.
Where do I begin? Should I choose the most flamboyant birds? The most endangered? The anthropomorphic cute and cuddly, or even the fearsome and scary? Sir David Attenborough expressed at an early stage a willingness to record for the second series in July, which was delightful. However having begun working on the series in mid-May, this meant I had a first recording deadline with Sir David in just 9 weeks.
Tweet of the Day planning focussed in on the 120 species I thought merited inclusion. The flamboyant instantly came into mind. Birds which bring wonder and glamour to the natural world; the blue bird of paradise, emperor penguin, blue footed booby, and resplendent quetzal slipped under the wire like ornithological limbo dancers. Others waited patiently in the wings as encore understudies. The New Zealand wrybill, the only bird with a bill curved to the right, or the Galapagos Islands blood sucking vampire finch for example. I now had the birds, but what of the birdsong?
being paid to listen to birdsong was manna from Heaven
With just 120 bird species to choose from, some listeners' favourites will of course be missing, yet I hope we have brought to the radio schedules the best of what the avian world has to offer; the spectacular, the bizarre, the songsters or in some cases those species we are about to lose forever. Above all for each species to warrant inclusion it had to satisfy an ultimate editorial driver – the voice of birds and our relationship with them. Tweet of the Day is about connection which leads to an awakening as to what is all around us. This is what drives my passion for this series.
As the airwaves crackle into life at two minutes to 6 each weekday morning, Tweet of the Day goes part of the way to proclaim that “…No sound of voice or flute is like to the bird”. I’d like to think Richard Jefferies would approve.
Andrew provides some further musings - from Marconi to Kate Bush - in his introduction to NATURAL LIGHT's Re:Tweet of the Day page. Our next Re:Tweet will be the Bell Miner on 14 November.