Dawn Chorus Walk

Flanders Moss NNR

Last week I undertook a micro adventure, it wasn’t much of an adventure but it was something different that took me out of the normal routine. It was a dawn chorus walk at Flanders.

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Flanders is a great place for a dawn chorus walk. It is jammed packed with song birds and the contrast between the intensively managed farmland next to the moss and the moss itself is huge.
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If you are learning bird song then it is a good place to start, especially if the leaves are not yet fully on the trees and you can get a better view of the birds. I am still learning the songs but have found over the years that gradually they do stick. To help me remember some I come up with little descriptions of different songs, here are a few that might help:

  • robin – always sounds sad – ends in a downturn
  • chaffinch – sounds a bit like a cricket fast bowler coming up to bowl – there is a florish at the end
  • willow warbler – someone falling down the stairs
  • wren – listen for the trills – did you know that a wren can sing up to 17 notes per second in its trills
  • dunnock – like a wren but no trills
  • song thrush – always repeating itself
  • sedge warbler – I always remember Bill Oddie describing it as all over the place like a mad woman’s custard. By this I think he meant that it has no rhythm and chops and changes between whistles, squawks, rattles and other odd noises.

It helped that it was a gorgeous morning, here are some of the birds seen.

Below: One of the 2 cuckoos that were verbally jousting along the moss edge.
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Below: A rather sleepy buzzard that looked like it had just got up and spent sometime getting its feathers just right before moving on.
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Below: A rather fierce or grumpy looking male whinchat. There are 2 that sing on tops of low bushes close to the boardwalk and so can be easily spotted.
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Below: A meadow pipit reading the interpretation board? Certainly from what was deposited on the board it has perched there many times and seems to have been trying to write its name in white.
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Below: Part of a group of 13 carrion crows hanging around near to the boardwalk. They definitely looked to be up to no good.
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30 species of bird were seen on my walk. But it was more than that. An early morning walk spent intensely focusing on the sights and sounds is an excellent escape from everyday stresses and strains.
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Have you a micro adventure planned?
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List of 30 species of bird seen and heard:

  • reed bunting
  • redpoll
  • chaffinch
  • willow warbler
  • sedge warbler
  • blackcap
  • wren
  • redstart
  • wheatear
  • whinchat
  • blackbird
  • song thrush
  • mistle thrush
  • great tit
  • blue tit
  • meadow pipit
  • tree pipit
  • pied wagtail
  • skylark
  • swallow
  • sand martin
  • cuckoo
  • carrion crow
  • jackdaw
  • wood pigeon
  • mallard
  • buzzard
  • snipe
  • curlew
  • pheasant
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1 Response to Dawn Chorus Walk

  1. nickmcw says:

    I always enjoy these posts, in various ways – this one for the enjoyment of being out in a place like Flanders, the characterfulness of different birds, and some cracking photos. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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