Sunrise happens every day but on an early May morning with the sunlight slanting through soft new green leaves and a chorus of bird song it is pure magic!
Today eighteen early risers came to Clayfield Copse to enjoy it. Starting at 4:30am with Mars and Venus still clearly visible and two tawny owls just signing off, the barks of a muntjac welcomed us. As the sky lightened we crossed the playing field and entered the woodland, occasionally pausing but listening all the time, the air was filled with bird song. Eventually we halted for coffee and cake around the kettle before continuing passed the regenerating woodland as the full sunlight reached us. One and a half miles in total with participants aged 7 to 70+, of all abilities from absolute beginners to experts.
In all over thirty species of bird were heard or seen including Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Garden warbler, Gold crest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Greenfinch, Green woodpecker, Jackdaw, Jay, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Pheasant, Red kite, Robin, Song thrush, Starling, Tawny Owl, Whitethroat, Wood pigeon, Wren and for the first time a Lesser Black Backed gull.
My favourite, a blue tit singing his heart out while the most unwelcome sound was the 5am take off from Heathrow!
We will be back next year to again enjoy this magical experience.
Judith Oliver [edited]
Created: Friday, 11th May 2018
Photographs: Judith Oliver