Oh, yes. When we read the “Ode to a Nightingale” in College and when I read various works of authors on the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and more recently, when I was researching the Arthurian Tarot, I came across the term “Songbirds of Rhiannon” in the Welsh legend “Mabinogion”, the earliest prose stories of the literature of Great Britain compiled around the 12th Century AD from the earlier oral traditions.
If one hears a song of astonishing volume, it is a safe bet that it is a wren. One can hardly believe that such a small bird can make “such a din”. The song is hard and dry and rattly and is usually marked by a prolonged trill at the end.
The first willow warbler tends to announce the arrival of spring. These birds fly in from Western Africa to spend the summer in the British Isles, quite a long journey for such a small bird, coming along the “Africa-Eurasia Flyway”. The song is a soft, lisping descent down the scale, much repeated with subtle variations.
These are Britain’s smallest birds and they have a thin little song to match. The song is a repetition of high thin notes, slightly higher-pitched than those of its cousins. It is mostly heard from the top of a conifer tree in a pretty trickle of golden notes.
Skylarks are essentially ground birds that make their living from open spaces of grass, heath and arable fields, often remaining inconspicuous. During spring, they are mostly seen airborne, darting upwards as if they have been wound up on an invisible string.
Blackcaps have often been claimed as Britain’s “champion songsters”. Their song is fruity and fluty but mixes in more challenging notes and phrases. They like to sing from cover and are not often seen – they are “secret superstars”.
Song thrushes are great at repetition. They take a phrase, run through it two or three times, then come up with another and repeat that. They like to do from a high, often exposed perch – the top of a mature tree is best, but even a lamp-post will do.
Nightingales do not just sing at night, they also sing all day. It is the most strenuous option taken by any songbird. The song is a crescendo of whistles, a deep throbbing drumming and strange radio-phonic sounds of pure melody.
The two syllable song was once heard everywhere in the British Isles, but is now a rarity. In the right places, often low-lying and damp ones, the cuckoos arrive for a six-week frenzy of sound, from late April to the beginning of June.
The yellowhammer’s song was once the song of traditional farmland. This is a hedge-loving bird singing a much-repeated phrase that is traditionally written as a “little bit of bread and no cheese”, although it is more like “bread-bread-bread-bread-cheeeeeese”.
Bank of England Banknotes:
1) A Ten Pounds Banknote issued on Charles Dickens (Writer) also depicting a cricket match from his novel "The Pickwick Papers"
2) A Ten Pound Banknote issued on Charles Darwin (English Naturalist) also depicting the HMS Beagle, Darwin's magnifying glass, a humming-bird & flora that he may have seen on his voyage.
3) A Five Pounds Banknote issued on George Stephenson (an Engineer) also depicting "Rocket" his Railway Locomotive and Skeene Bridge on theStockton Darlington Railway (1825) - since withdrawn
4) A 20 Pounds Banknote issued on Michael Faraday (a Scientist) issued in 1991, since withdrawn from circulation in 2001
5) Great Britain's first circulating polymer Banknote issued by the Bank of England in the denomination of 5 Pounds on 13.09.2016
Inspirations from Scottish History (Clydesdale Bank Banknotes):
1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes
2) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote
Banknotes from Bank of Scotland:
1) The Ryder Cup Commemorative Banknote: A 5 Pounds Banknote issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2014
British Crown Dependencies:
1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey
2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey
3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey
4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain
5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015
7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend
8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie
9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda
10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence
11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003
12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint
13) Currency of the Falkland Islands: A British Overseas Territory (BOT) Pounds & Pence
14) Falkland Islands Penguins: 50 Pence Coin Series: The first Coin in the Series of four coins: the Rock-hopper Penguin
15) Isle of Man : A British Crown Dependancy : A new set of coins released in April 2017 (minted by the Tower Mint, UK)
1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK)
2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK
3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark
2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark
1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns
British India Coinage:
1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835
2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress
3) Edward VII: King & Emperor Coinage
4) George V King Emperor Coinage
5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage
Other British Royalty:
1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK
2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown
3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK
4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013
5) The British Empire: A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)
6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark
1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)
2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin
3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence
4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone
5) The new 12-sided One Pound UK Coin introduced into circulation on 28.03.2017
Commemorative British Coinage:
1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era
2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK
3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)
4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel
5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK
1) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom
2) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie
3) Celebrating the Centenary of Agatha Christie's first Crime Novel and 40th Anniversary of her passing away by issue of a set of 6 stamps by Royal Mail, UK
4) Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday: A Souvenir Sheet issued by the Royal Mail, UK featuring four generations of Windsors on 21.04.16
5) Songbirds of Great Britain: A set of 10 Stamps issued by Royal Mail UK on 04.05.2017