An early 3.30am start was in order today to meet a group at Folly Farm (www.follyfarm.org) at 4.45am to listen to the dawn chorus. A few robins were just beginning to sing as we set up, quickly followed by song thrushes, blackbirds and the night shift, with two male tawny owls still calling. It wasn't long before wrens, great tits and blue tits started up and later followed by blackcaps and chiffchaffs. It was a pretty cold morning but despite this a group of swallows flew fast and low over the fields and trees on their way north. As we made our way back to bacon butties, we were graced with a beautiful male barn owl quartering a field, followed by some views perched in an tree and then some hunting attempts. The barn owl was a first for most of the group and a great way to finish the walk at 6.30am.
Back in Bristol I was delighted to hear the contact calls of young robins outside my flat - I spotted a parent with food and a little searching later revealed one or two newly fledged chicks with stubby tails and big gapes!
Off to listen for nightingales a little later with friends.