We convened for breakfast at 4am (ouch!) in order to get out in the field and make some recordings on International Dawn Chorus Day, and even though I was really sleepy (it always takes me ages to wake up!) I was looking forward to getting out and about early. After our porridge, and listening to some advice from Darren Tansley about good locations we drove out towards Thorrington Street, which we thought would be a good spot: near the river, near some woods and a fair way from big roads and potential traffic. It was also somewhere we hadn’t been before so ticked a lot of boxes. But when we arrived, after having narrowly missed a muntjac deer who hadn’t learned the green cross code, we couldn’t actually access the river and it was hard to park, so it took us a bit of driving up and down to find somewhere. We did however stop and walk into a field towards the woods. There were a few birds but nowhere near as many as we heard a month ago at Stoke-by-Clare, but I set the mic up under some dense trees in order to hide from any birds that were there and to cause as little disturbance as possible. But after the first recording, in which I got one very close bird (unidentified) and several more further away, the audio recorder started to play up with an error code and wouldn’t record any more. We were feeling a little bit underwhelmed so after Ruth had filmed some cows in the neighbouring field, and seeing a large greylag goose running up the lane, we decided to go and find somewhere else.
We found a place on the OS map and parked as near as we could, and then took a few footpaths around a farm and down a lovely estate road to a very tranquil lake. I had a spare CF card so formatted it which seemed to sort out the recorder problem, but I’ll need to check that when I get back to the studio. There was an abundance of water birds which made for a contrast to the woodland birds we’d heard previously. I got a couple of good recordings here with no traffic noise, aircraft or other human made interference, but managed to capture a rather spectacular coot running along the water at high speed. There were also plenty of geese, swans and an egret all going about their early morning business. We left them in peace and headed back home for a second breakfast.
Audio recording will follow soon x