It was cold, dark and wet this morning as we headed out of bed and up the A1 for our Dawn Chorus Walk at Lee Moor Farm. We were however quietly optimistic as the weather forecast had promised that the showers would die away and the cloud lift as the dawn rose.
A Roe Deer by the side of the A1 and a Barn Owl flushing from the old tree where it had been ‘on duty’ looking out over the fields at Lee Moor filled us with hope. We arrived just as it was getting light followed by our eager participants. As we were busy getting coats and gloves on, for whilst the days may be warm the nights can still be very chilly, Common Gulls flew overhead and Wrens were starting their early morning song. Wrens can sing very loudly for such a small bird and the farm has a healthy population.
As we walked the field edges towards the wooded areas Hares could be seen bounding around, Wood Pigeons began their softly cooing song and a Whitethroat did its best to make itself heard. Jackdaws that make their nest in the kestrel and barn owl boxes that are attached to old telegraph poles began to stir and Skylarks ascended to great heights for their aerial song. As we approached the wooded areas of the farm Willow Warblers could be heard, keeping their neighbours in check by clearly marking their territories with song. Song thrushes and Chaffinches were busy announcing their presence and then in the hedge was a very distinctive song; that of the Sedge Warbler. It was just a few feet away but could only be glimpsed when it moved deeper into the hedge! Those stalwarts of the Dawn Chorus, the Blackbird and Robin were also heard. Ian Brown, farmer at Lee Moor Farm was able to provide interesting information on how his stewardship of the farm and his management of it for conservation had helped attract the wealth of wildlife that we were able to see and hear. As we headed back to the farm we were all then very hungry and eagerly anticipating the hearty Northumbrian cooked breakfast that was waiting for us and we were not disappointed. The Black Olive cafÃ© did a fantastic job of filling us up after our early morning start! As we left the warmth of the cafÃ© the sun was beginning to warm the morning air and the clouds were indeed lifting, and the birds were still singing. We are all looking at our diaries to see whether we can arrange a ‘not quite the Dawn Chorus’ walk in a few weeks time. Birds continue to sing until mid morning and so a start at say 7am should still enable us to hear the magnificent bird song of the early morning. As always, we’re waiting for your enquiries and bookings on 01670 827465.