At 5am it was still dark and very quiet – not a bird could be heard. Then at around 10 minutes past the hour a solitary robin started his song, followed by another a few seconds later. Within a minute the place was full of bird song – a group of blackbirds in the distance and song thrushes close by. As we walked up the arboretum track the bird song became a wall of sound all around us, very loud and profuse. It was difficult to make out individual calls at this point so intense was all of the bird song, but we heard at least 4 song thrushes singing to defend their territory, a black cap in a bush close by, the blackbirds in the distance, stock doves closer by and saw the swallow flying above us around the bat hibernaculum. After about 40 mins the volume of the bird song was still present but less intense and as we continued our walk along into the orchard, through the walled garden and into the newly planted area we were able to pick out other birds like dunnocks and a redstart.
We returned to the start of the walk and whilst enjoying cake and coffee we saw two tree pipits singing and flying (with their characteristic parachuting display flight) over head.
It was a lovely walk and informative too. We left Cefn Ila , grateful that the torrential rain had stopped just as we started the walk which enabled us to really enjoy our walk around the wood in the early morning and keen to go home and develop our knowledge of bird song and birds in general.
Thanks to Barry for running this walk for us and for imparting his knowledge not only of bird song, but of their characteristics too.
The species of birds we heard were