Sunday, 1 May 2016

Stunning Morning with Great Birds

National Dawn Chorus day usually sees us out very very early but this mornings walk started at seven o'clock from the Canadian Memorial in the New Forest.  Now after the event I doubt if we could have picked a better location.  Whilst everyone gathered and arrived we had the usual woodland species Robin, Chaffinch, Mistle and Song Thrush and then Jackie picked up a pair of Woodlark feeding along the road edge.  Jackie decided to take a slightly different route than we usually do and headed across the heath along the edge of the Holly coppice which turned out to be a good decision.  Crossing the road we had our first pair of Stonechat, Blackbirds, Dunnock and a pair of Siskin flew over.  A little further on Julie picked up our first Redstart a super male we went on to see several more including a couple of females too.  Next was a pair of Bullfinch and then someone called Whitethroat, when I got eyes on the bird I quickly realised in was actually a Lesser Whitethroat a species I wouldn't usually expect to find in a Holly coppice but it showed very well for us.  

Whilst listening to a Redstart singing from somewhere in the Hollies, there was a sharp "Tsik" "tsik" close overhead looking up a Hawfinch flew out from behind us right out into the open then turned and flew back into cover again.  We were just thinking how lucky we were when our luck immediately became better when checking out another bird in flight coming towards us and thinking thats a small woodpecker when it pitched up at the top of a holly tree on bare branches and called, my instinct was proved correct a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.  It gave good though brief views and turned out to be a lifer species for a number of the group.

Back down to earth we continued checking off the commoner species, Greenfinch, Wrens, then another Pair of Woodlark flew out of the bracken and away but then Joe found two more feeding on the ground which were much closer than the earlier birds and more features could been seen.  Our next used to be common, but as you'll know has suffered a major decline in recent years, so it was very nice to hear then see a Cuckoo found calling from the top of any oak then flying down into the valley past us excellent. As we walked towards Bolderwood we came across a small Buck party around six Fallow buck were grazing out in the open.
Fallow Deer bucks - Bolder Wood © Nick Hull
Entering Bolderwood we waited for those that needed to visit the loo at the deer view point, from here we watched hawking Swallows, a very smart male Pied Wagtail and several feeding Song Thrush.    When the others joined us a pair of Siskin flew in and and drank at a triple of water right in front of us.  We also had our only raptor a 2nd calendar year Peregrine, showing a very brown back which soared over us and headed off east.  Walking around the wood we added many common species including Nuthatch and Blackcap, and the chance to compare Goldcrest and Firecrest song, as well as brief views of them. We were able to compare Stock Dove to Woodpigeon and see Jay before our morning was over and we had to head back to the cars.

As I've mentioned above we had the opportunity to be able to listen to both Goldcrest and Firecrest and I said I'd look out some recordings and place them here for you all to listen to, so you can compare the sounds and see the difference in the sonograms of both species.

You'll note that the Goldcrest has a more up and down rhythm which gives it a more spiraling like sound.

Where the Firecrest is more of a trill that quickens towards the end and comes to an abrupt stop.

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