The first Sunday in May is traditionally International Dawn Chorus Day, and all around the world people get up to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the many birds that sing their hearts out at this time of day, declaring their territories and trying to attract a mate.
We were no exception and we had over 30 people on our dawn chorus walk this morning, with some very obliging birds to boot! Some of the highlights included great numbers of sedge warblers, willow warblers, at least 2 grasshopper warblers, blackcap, song thrush, robin, blue and great tits, drumming snipe and woodcock, treecreeper and blackbirds including our train door mimic (so for all of you out there who didn't believe me, there are now 30 other people who have heard it as well!!). After our walk, we headed back to the visitor centre for tea and a breakfast roll, kindly provided to us by Cucina Minucci in Lochwinnoch Village. A perfect end to a really nice walk!
I also made a start on this years breeding bird surveys this morning, starting with the Aird Meadow. The sedge warblers were certainly in good form, with 21 singing males recorded, and there were several reed buntings starting to claim their spots. I also had a pair of common sandpipers calling and flying past me whilst surveying the bund, which was a lovely treat, and to finish it off there was a family of mallard ducklings (1 female and 7 very little juveniles), so the breeding season is now well and truly underway!
I will shortly be heading back off to bed...4am is a little bit too early even for me to be starting work!