Sunday 4th May 2014: Dawn Chorus

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The weather forecast had predicted frost but our Dawn Chorus Walk was actually greeted with a mild and bright spring morning.
 
 
 
 
Wildlife Explorers and their families gathered at Ladderstile Farm at 6am, some still a little sleepy, to celebrate International Dawn Chorus day and enjoy the incredible birdsong typical of this time of year.
 
 
 
 
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The session started with an introduction to birdsong by Dave. He played the songs of 12 birds we were likely to hear on our walk. (We’ll all remember to listen for collared doves calling out, “United!”).
 
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Younger members of the group then completed sound maps, listening carefully to the sounds around them and recording them in pictures. Explorers Katie and Grace won Bird Fact Books for their excellent visual interpretations of the soundscape.
 
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Leaders Dave and Mark lead two different groups around the farm listening to and spotting a wide variety of birds in the various habitats.
 
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Spring was in plenty of evidence with wildflowers adding lots of colour to our morning. As well as bluebell, speedwell, stitchwort, campion and herb robert there were carpets of wild garlic down by the river.
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 There are lots of new lambs on the farm and we enjoyed seeing how playful they are, even at 6.30am.
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Under the expert guidance of our walk Leaders we achieved a combined species list of 32:
 
Pied wagtail
Collared Dove
Swallow
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House sparrow
Grey heron
Wren
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Robin
Blackcap
Blackbird
Wood pigeon
Carrion crow
Pheasant
Great tit
Mallard
Song Thrush
Hose Martin
Rook
Goosander
Jackdaw
Mistle thrush
Dunnock
Goldfinch
Moorhen
Canada Goose
Blackheaded gull
Starling
Magpie
Herring gull
Stock dove
 
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A Dawn Chorus wouldn’t be complete without a hearty barbecue breakfast! Explorers feasted on sausage and bacon sandwich, free range scrambled eggs, eggy bread and Liz’s excellent porridge. Breakfast always tastes better outside!
 
 
 
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One of the sound map winners reading her new book

One of the sound map winners reading her new book

 
Thank you to Rose and Peter Brocklehurst of Ladderstile Farm for the use of the wonderful location and excellent facilities.
 
Bacon was kindly donated by Barrows Butchers
1 Henshall Road, West Bollington.
Tel: 01625-572110
 
Sausages were kindly donated by TTS Meats.
Snape Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 2NH.
Tel: 01625-432385 / 01625-501588 / 01625-426355
 
 

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