DAWN CHORUS WALK & TALK
Peter gives a first hand account of the Boughton Fen walk which started at 4 am in the morning! It seems that getting up early waas well worthwhile.
What time are we meeting? 4.30. OK that's fine. In the morning. Pardon!?
That was probably the sort of conversation in a number of households when people were getting prepared for the Dawn Chorus held on Boughton Fen recently. Allan Hale, local bird expert extraordinaire, ably assisted by Andrew, led us around the Fen at this unusually early time to hear and enjoy the birds in their glory. It was lovely to see a good number of friends from other local villages amongst the 30 plus group.
We left our house in darkness and set off to walk to the Fen, only to be offered a lift by one of the number of vehicle moving slowly down the road making their way to the venue. Once assemble we made our way into the Fen. As soon as we set off we heard a nightingale, and what a beautiful and powerful song from a relatively small bird. We were to hear several that morning and a few of us were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one too.
As we entered deeper into the fen we heard blackcaps, whitethroats, a cuckoo, a tawny owl, amongst others, and of course the usual suspects, blackbirds and Canada Geese honking away in the distance. I was amazed as we approached the white bridge at the junction of Oxborough Road and Eastmoor Road to see a barn owl flying low along the drain. It put a bit of a show for us, flying, sitting on a post and diving on prey. We saw it several times in the next half hour. For those with binoculars it was a treat, although still viewable by all.
For me the warblers leaping from stem to stem on the reeds in the Fen were wonderful, as was the five minutes or so a Common Whitethroat sat looking at us just a few yards away. Robins and wrens complemented our early morning enjoyment, which was topped off by freshly cooked bacons rolls, hot tea and coffee in the middle of the fen whilst we were overlooking all that makes this country great.
A special thank you to the Fen Committee of Boughton Parish Council who organised the event and to Alan and Andrew who identified so many birds by their calls that morning.