The best way to experience all this change is to get up early I’m afraid. I arranged to meet my colleague and friend Brenda at 7am in order for us to have a good long walk around some of the park before we opened up the Bittern Information Point which we man as volunteers.
It was a cool yet sunny start and we were hit by the chorus of birdsong as we made our way along Walton’s Walk towards Hooks Marsh. This choir was led by the distinct song of the Blackcap, one of the first of the warbler migrants to reach our shores for the summer.
|Blackcap in full song|
As we headed back to open the BIP, we could hear Cuckoos and then as we came closer to the main car park we heard our first Nightingales. I think I counted three separate individuals but last year we had up to 14 in this part of the park.
As the sun warmed the park, I was hopeful that I would see my first Orange-tip of the year. Once we had the BIP open we sat and watched a pair of Moorhen care for their three chicks.
Then the Coots decided they were hungry.
But the Moorhen fought back and while the melee unfolded, the three chicks scarpered into the reeds.
This is natural but it doesn’t stop you from feeling helpless sometimes and although this particular event went well, we heard later that a Great Crested Grebe had had her chicks and remaining eggs predated by a Coot. Very sad.
In the afternoon, we took turns to go on butterfly hunts. This was a good opportunity for me to practice using the macro lens which is quite tricky – well in my hands anyway.