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Mnemonic: Noun; a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations which assists in remembering something; from the Greek mnēmonikos, from mnēmōn, meaning ‘mindful’ (Oxford Dictionary).

I’ve found mnemonics particularly useful when trying to remember bird songs. Apart from the very obvious sounds, where the bird is, in fact, named for its song – I’m thinking here of the Chiffchaff and the Kittiwake – there are also some well-known phrases that many birders know, like ‘a little bit of bread and no cheeeeese’ for the song of the Yellowhammer, ‘chissick’ for the Pied wagtail, and ‘teacher, teacher’ for the Great tit. Do you have any bird song mnemonics you can share?


The yellowhammer: ‘a little bit of bread and no cheeeeese’