Blog post by Gert
On Saturday the 12th May the farm hosted another popular early morning bird walk. This was in celebration of International Dawn Chorus day, although we started at a more reasonable time of 7.30am!
As it turned out this was a good time as the number of birds singing were not as overwhelming as it might have been earlier in the day, allowing a better appreciation of individual bird song.We were treated to the songs of Yellowhammer, Blackcap and the clear song of the Chiffchaff. Whitethroat was very active and sang well from the mature hedgerows and we were treated to hearing a Lesser Whitethroat at close quarters although unsurprisingly for this secretive species it didn’t show itself!
The Cuckoo eventually performed at the end of the walk. It’s been very vocal all spring, probably eyeing up Dunnock nests to lay it’s egg in.
Ravens were cronking, once again nesting in one of the pine trees and Skylarks sang throughout the walk. We also had the opportunity to study the song of the Willow Warbler and get clear views of it through a scope where we were able to see the slight differences in identification to a Chiffchaff, although it’s song being the best way to separate the two species.
The biggest surprise, however, was a Whinchat perched on one of the hedges clearly showing it’s obvious white eye stripe. A bird of the uplands and a migrant, it had probably only recently arrived and was passing through, so we were very lucky to pick it up. It’s also became a new species for the farm’s bird list at number 83!
We ended the walk with a look at the hay meadow which was just coming into it’s own and were treated to a handsome Roe Deer buck looking at us looking at him.