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28 October 2014

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Dawn Chorus

You are in: Gloucestershire > Nature > Dawn Chorus > The dawn chorus in Gloucestershire

Cherington lake

Cherington lake

The dawn chorus in Gloucestershire

Learn more about the dawn chorus and listen to it in Cherington with (or without!) commentary from ornithologist and broadcaster Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey

Gloucestershire born and bred.

He hails from Nailsworth and has lived for many years at Frampton-on-Severn.

The press have dubbed him 'Gloucestershire's Bill Oddie'.

He was coxswain on the final voyage of 'The Spry', the last Severn Trow to dock at Sharpness.

He made his first appearance on BBC Radio Gloucestershire in 1989.

BBC programmes such as 'Countryfile' and 'The Nature of Britain' are amongst his TV appearances.

Few counties can claim such a diverse landscape as Gloucestershire; from the dense woodland of the Forest of Dean to the high limestone Cotswold escarpment, the growing urban sprawl of Gloucester and Cheltenham to the wetlands and salt marsh beside the River Severn.

This rich variety of habitats brings with it a multitude of birdsong and there's not better time to experience it than spring.

Ornithologist and broadcaster Brian Bailey has been enthralled by the dawn chorus since he was a boy; "it's a magical time of day and the song of the birds is like a morning symphony".

For Dawn Chorus Day on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Brian visited Cherington near Tetbury.

The man-made lake on the outskirts of the village is a favourite bird-watching spot which he first visited more than 50 years ago. 

Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

In total he recorded more than 20 species including blackbird, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coot, blue tit, great tit, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, robin, song thrush, willow warbler, wren and wood pigeon.

Brian has an infectious enthusiasm for bird watching and has a down-to-earth approach  to recognising their song; "Blackbirds will go 'lurkey, lurkey', the wren is the smallest bird with the biggest voice, the great tit says 'teacher, teacher, teacher' while the wood pigeon makes a noise like the bass note percussion." 

But if you're a late-riser, there's a warning from Brian; "Get there early because as the sun begins to appear, the cacophany of sound dies away".

Catch up with Brian's latest rural adventures with Vernon Harwood every Sunday morning from 9am on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Cherington Lake

The rural parish of Cherington lies four miles from Tetbury on a plateau at a height of about 500 feet and the land falls gently away to the south.

Cherington lake

Cherington lake

The Avening stream is the only natural watercourse in the area and runs westwards through the valley before reaching Cherington pond which was dug in the mid 18th century.

The lake has long been a magnet for sailors and fishermen; the activity of poachers was recorded as long ago as 1876.

An interesting footnote is that Cherington will always be associated with a bird of a different kind.

For many years the village was the home of the late Brian Trubshaw CBE, who captained Concorde 002 on its famous flight from Filton to its test base at RAF Fairford in April 1969.

last updated: 14/05/2008 at 12:03
created: 04/04/2008

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Thank you,such a soothing sound.

William St Aubyn
Magnificent. Brought back tons of memories of schooldays in Sherborne in the 60s ----- thank you

Shirley Warr
Wonderful! I wish I was an early riser! I get stuck to my bed in the mornings, I'm afraid, but I would love to be able to rouse myself to be able to hear the dawn chorus. It's such a serene cathedral-like sound. Beautiful. Well at least I can hear it recorded by Brian Bailey.Shirley, Bourton on the Water.

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