Sunday, 3 May 2015

IDCD at College Lake

Today is International Dawn Chorus Day, so Bug Mad Girl, Nanny Moth and I joined a guided walk at College Lake. Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn't looking great, with rain and wind forecast all morning. We were still keen though when we left the house at 4.30 am, albeit a bit bleary eyed, and weren't going to be put off by a bit of wet weather!

When we got there the warden said a cuckoo had already been heard in the car park that morning. We heard robins, wrens, great tits, chaffinches, woodpigeons, a song thrush and blackbirds as we walked out of the visitor centre. Then we reached the edge of the lake and somebody pointed out a Ross's Goose. They're supposed to be in California at the moment and definitely not in this country, so nobody is quite sure whether it's been blown off course during its migration, or has escaped from a local collection. Anyway, not what you expect to see in the middle of a lake in Tring!

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose
Also on the lake we saw lots of honking Canada Geese, 4 Egyptian Geese flew past and a pair of Shelduck sat on the edge of the lake. A pair of Great Crested Grebes were performing their courting display in front of us, although not while I was taking a photo! We also saw Common Terns, a Cormorant and Tufted Ducks.

Great Crested Grebes
We heard lots of warblers and tried spot the difference between garden warblers, willow warblers and blackcaps. A willow warbler conveniently sat in a tree in front of us and sang to us, which helped!

Willow warbler
Our guide then pointed out a Lesser Whitethroat to us - sounds a bit like a car starting.

We later also heard a Whitethroat. Further round the lake we spotted a Green Woodpecker that flew up the path and landed on a fence post, where it yaffled for us.
Green Woodpecker
We heard Long-tailed Tits in a tree above us, then walked down to the lake and heard Reed Warblers.

Then we headed up to the barn to watch the birds on the feeders, have a look at the nest cameras and warm up with a cup of tea.

Cameras on the feeders and nest boxes

A lovely way to hear the dawn chorus, even if it was a bit soggy!


  1. Great selection of birds there. Glad you enjoyed it. I have also been out in the rain. My chorus is an urban one though with a different cast of birds. Its a nice contrast between mine and yours. I'm amd enough to do it again tomorrow lol

  2. Thanks! Hope it's a bit drier for you tomorrow. Not sure I could get up that early two days in a row. I may have to go back to bed now for a while!