Sunday, 2 May 2010

Dawn Chorus

All pics for this post (c) 2010 Aileen Urquhart
The group disappearing into the mist
Light breaking into the wood
Bluebell carpet
15 hardy souls volunteered to get up early to participate in this year’s Dawn Chorus. So, at 5am we met at a local reserve with plenty of parking & travelled a few miles to a reserve with only limited room for cars. Technically, we had missed the dawn, but the scene dripped with romanticism. The large moon reflected light on to a scene containing a milky-white mist which hung a few feet over the ground.
At first the chorus consisted mainly of resident birds – Robin, Great Tit, Wren, Robin & Song Thrush, but a Blackcap could also be discerned. Later, Willow Warblers & Chiffchaffs also joined in. A Treecreeper squeaked very close to us, and could just be glimpsed in the strengthening light. A Green Woodpecker laughed at our progress through the woodland, but slipped away before we could spot it. The first bird we had a really good view of was a nasal Willow Tit, which called & then sang whilst looking for food among the emerging buds. Later, along the same water-filled ditch we saw a Marsh Tit behaving in a similar fashion. The next bird we encountered was a Reed Bunting, but it took off with its partner before everyone could observe it. A Linnet flew over, and some Red-legged Partridges, Stock Doves (3 pairs), Hares & Rabbits frequented one field. We also heard a Whitethroat here, but views were distant.
We struck out in an Easterly direction and heard a distant Cuckoo – this was a first of the year for several people. The Bluebells were opening out, and every so often their subtle scent drifted across our path. Turning another 90 degrees we reached the Southern limit of the wood, and came across an enormous Hoof Fungus, plus another Whitethroat, and a fairly short glimpse of a singing Woodlark. Retracing our steps we reached the main path, and continuing on our way we discovered our 1st Garden Warbler in full song. A little later the Cuckoo flew into the tree we were standing under, and after a little gowking & its normal song, it flew off again as soon as it realised we were there. A little further on we actually had quite a good view of a Garden Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker before arriving back at the cars.
We returned to our original meeting place and were rewarded with a hot drink and either a sausage or bacon sandwich. Even those who travelled from Tadcaster & Wetwang agreed it was a very worthwhile morning, and they would do it again! The consensus seems to be that they would even be prepared to get up earlier to appreciate the transition from night to dawn. However, if everyone feels as hungover as I do at the moment then there may actually be no takers next year!


Aileen said...

I'll be there! Great morning'

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely pics Aileen, the light is stunning