Spring has to be my favourite time of the year. Each day new summer migrants arrive, flowers come into bloom and butterflies take advantage of the spring sunshine to venture out on the wing for the first time.
Yesterday morning myself and Liz Jameson led the second of a series of guided walks we’re running at Lyndon with Tricia and Martin Lawrence who are a sponsors and ambassadors of the Send a Cow charity. Each year Send a Cow helps promote self-sustainable living in Africa by helping thousands of families grow their own food to eat and to sell. To read more about this very important work, check out the Send a Cow website. Half the proceeds from these guided walks go to Send a Cow and half to the Osprey project.
After meeting at the Lyndon Centre at 7am we set out across the wildflower meadows – full of flowering dandelions – towards Waderscrape and Shallow Water hides. Several newly arrived Whitethroats were staking claim to a territory and five other species of warblers contributed to a fantastic dawn chorus.
As we watched Great-crested Grebes and Little Grebes from Tufted Duck hide, the most magical and evocative songster of them all suddenly got into full voice. A Nightingale was singing from the blackthorn thicket just behind the hide. The vegetation was too thick to see it, but we were able to enjoy the bird’s full repertoire of fluty whistles for ten minutes or more.
From there we walked a few hundred metres to Waderscrape hide where 5R had just taken over incubation duties from his mate. I don’t suppose there is any where else in the UK where you can listen to Nightingales and see breeding Ospreys within a few minutes of each other.
With the walk complete we headed to Tricia and Martin’s house in Manton for an African themed breakfast where Tricia told the group more about Send a Cow’s valuable work and we talked more about the Osprey project. It had been a great morning and one you can experience yourself by visiting the Lyndon reserve this weekend. The reserve is open from 6am every day, so there’s no excuse to miss the dawn chorus. I thoroughly recommend it!