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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

16 February, 2015

Dunnock: the hedge accentor | Nature Notes from Dorset

If you are like me you eagerly await spring; the new season of bird song, summer migrants, wild flowers, busy insects and so, as soon as the shortest day is past, I start looking for signs of spring! A bit early perhaps? No, if you start looking early you see just small but significant changes.
In early February there is a small but delightful change. The dunnock (Prunella modularis) starts to utter the first few tentative notes of his song. As the days progress through the month he grows in confidence and soon the dunnock will join with the robins and song thrush heralding in the spring.
When I was young I remember my father calling this a hedge sparrow but, as it is not a sparrow, the name changed back in the 1970's to dunnock. It is a member of the accentor family and so, on the formal British nomenclature list it is known as the hedge accentor. Three names for the same little bird.

Read more: Dunnock: the hedge accentor | Nature Notes from Dorset