Sunday, 8 June 2014

Dawn Chorus


A little late in the season but this morning we had a go at a guided dawn chorus at Pitsford Reservoir, at the request of Pitsford Women's Institute.  A 4.30am start is always a little daunting for some - luckily I am a morning person!  The walk took in the north bank of the Holcot Bay and we walked to the Lagoon Hide and back.  Initially we were distracted because a family unit of Tawny Owls (including two mobile and vocal youngsters) were close to our rendezvous spot.  A Jay was seen and a Sparrowhawk heard and then it was back on the agenda to listen to singing small birds. 

There are plenty of Wrens on site this year, no doubt more numerous due to the mild winter, and their song velocity was in danger of drowning out the remainder of the songsters!  However the Song Thrushes were not to be outdone and we quickly tracked down the monotonous song of Chiffchaff and others amongst the throng.

A couple of Muntjac sprang away from us and we espied water birds as the bushes gave way to open water viewing.  The Coots seem to be doing well this year with plenty of youngsters in evidence and Great Crested Grebes and Mute Swans also have broods on-site.

Other songsters included hidden Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Blackcap but Garden Warblers were much more showy.  A good view of a Grass Snake was a bonus.  Common Buzzard was seen and Green Woodpecker heard and then we meandered back to the cars - where did two and a half hours go?

Breeding Oystercatchers and Common Terns are an assured sight in the Scaldwell Bay and the Old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station is supporting adult and juvenile Tree Sparrows and Great Spotted Woodpeckers in addition to more standard fare.


Neil M
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