Up with the larks

Tuesday 26 May 2009, 10:10

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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I staggered down the hill towards the nearest human form and found Stuart, Simon's producer, who thought for a brief moment that I was infact Simon. Apparently I have his swagger, so if a stunt double is ever required, I'm your man.

The minutes ticked by but there was still no sign of Simon, whose alarm had 'failed to go off'. Once we'd prised him from his bed, the dawn chorus patrol slinked quietly away into the bluebell woods near the lake.

By 4am, the light was rapidly building and with it came the first bird songs.

One by one they began to open their lungs and exhale songs of varying degrees of complexity, announcing to anyone lucky enough to still be asleep, that it was well and truly dawn!

The classic songbirds such as the aptly named songthrush and blackbird were initially stealing the show but were quickly joined by pied flycatchers and 'warbling' wood warblers.

The great thing for a bird song novice such a myself is that I had three experts on hand to quiz - "what was that?" but luckily for me they could name just about every species out there and even the ones that hadn't even started singing yet!

We filmed a few sequences for Springwatch so keep an eye out for those and Chris recorded some stunning bird songs as we stood quietly in a beautiful, pristine bluebell wood watching the sun rise. Don't forget to try the bird song quiz in an earlier blog I posted up.

At 5.30am we called it a day and went back to bed but it's hard to sleep when you've just experienced a dawn chorus of such magnitude.

One thing's for sure though - I can now hold my head up high and confidently add the wood warbler and pied flycatcher to my ever-growing list of bird calls that I can recognise, so I'm on at least 20 now, including my old favourite...the gull.


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