Our annual dawn chorus event took place this morning at 6am, and despite the cold weather there were plenty of male birds singing to stake a claim to their territories. The morning began with robins, blackbirds, blackcaps, wrens and chiffchaffs, and of course the familiar wood pigeon.
However as the sun rose and the temperature with it, we were treated to a wider range of species. Cetti’s, reed, sedge and willow warblers were all heard, as well as whitethroats and lesser whitethroats – at one point heard together. We had good views of many of the birds, particularly the sedge warblers performing their song flight.
A highlight was hearing the alarm calls of wrens and blackbirds as a tawny owl swooped into the trees, but unfortunately the badger that was spotted at last year’s event did not make a re-appearance.
Most surprisingly, the cold weather appears to have confused many of the birds, with some chiffchaffs and willow warblers delivering autumn rather than spring calls! They’ve only just arrived, and already they seem to think it’s time to go back to the warmth of the African sun!
Chiffchaffs lay very tiny eggs, so small that the young don’t have enough room to develop feathers until after they’ve hatched, so cold weather can be devastating for them. Here’s hoping things warm up soon – they deserve a bit of sunshine after such a long journey!