Spinneyfields is one of my local nature reserves and I've lost count of how many work parties I've been on here. But last week I made a different kind of visit. Together with my friend from the local photographic club, I got to the reserve at 5.45am and everything was very quiet. We were quite surprised by this - when we left home the birds were already singing...does the movement of cars etc disturbs these 'City Birds'?
On walking down the very dark path, carrying the equivalent of a lighthouse each, we chanced across a rabbit. We're not sure who was more surprised - us or or the rabbit.
It was too dark to open the gates so over the stiles we went. I fell over more than climbed - it wasn't a pretty sight, good job it was dark
Once settled in a choice spot on the nature reserve, we were delighted to hear the wonderful Dawn Chorus as it started with a few 'tweets' and gained momentum until we did not know where to look. As the light improved there were some tentative fluttering from tree to tree - again we did not know where to look as the small birds are so quick. We recognised songs and calls from blackbird, robin, crow, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch & wood pigeon.
As we moved our position in the meadow we saw a buzzard. It flew off so we waited to see if it would return but after 30mins we moved more into the trees. The sun came up as we sat there and more birds made an appearance: coal tit, bullfinch, siskin, collard dove and I could hear a warbler (but not sure which one).
At 8.30am we decided to make a move and as we walked away I'm sure the birds were saying "They're going, hooray!" During the walk back, a pheasant crossed the field and we encountered a robin who sat on the gate post posing for us. We also saw a fox hurrying back across the path into the woods and at a distance we heard a woodpecker. By that time we were ready for breakfast so of for a bacon roll & coffee...life doesn't get better than this!
Sylvia, South Birmingham local group & Heather (member of Kings Norton Photographic Club)