Today was International Dawn Chorus Day and this morning (at the almost unseen time of 4.30am,) some willing, if not a little bleary eyed, participants, volunteer Eddie W and I headed out to enjoy what has to be one of the most spectacular times of day. Starting off slowly, the robin greeted us in the car park, it's usual tuneful self always one to brighten a dull day (they sing in the winter months too!). Next, we went along the Dubbs Water trail and were met by a cacophany of sedge warbler songs. Some of them trying to imitate other birds such as blue tit, great tit, wren, and others just chirruping and cheeping and scratch-y scratching away in an attempt to claim the best spot and attract a mate. We got some great views too, as the light of the breaking dawn gave the birds some 'protection' whilst allowing us to get closer than they will permit us to be during the day.
Several times a grasshopper warbler started to churr, but never for long enough for everyone to get a good listen.
Next on to the Aird Meadow trail to listen out for a few woodland species. On the way back, a blackbird very obligingly began calling (although, for those that remember, still no sign of the train door mimicking blackbird YET!), followed by blue tit and great tit in unison. The beautiful melancholy song of the willow warbler was our next treat, and these became more numerous as we worked our way along the trail. Chaffinches, treecreeper, wood pigeon and a very loud wren were the next on the list.
Once we reached the first hide, we got a much better listen to the purring call of the grasshopper warbler as well as enjoying a fracous between Canada and greylag geese, and a chance to see our (hopefully) resident lapwing sitting on a muddy section of reedbed.
Eddie then took the group along the trail to listen out for blackcaps, and they were lucky to get an excellent view of one too, whilst I headed back to collect our breakfast from our good friends at Cucina Minucci in Lochwinnoch.
We then all enjoyed our bacon/sausage/potato scone rolls and a nice, hot cup of tea. A good morning all round!