To give an extra dimension to our Spring Celebrations at our allotment community, Bowbrook Allotment Community, we added a second social day. We met just as the sun was rising in order to hear the dawn chorus and experience the site coming to life. We soon met a problem though as the coded padlock on our gates is black so it was very difficult to get the numbers lined up to open up. Once that hurdle was overcome we had a great few hours.
It was strange to be on site when it was so quiet. The sky began to colour up before the sun rose and we admired the patterns that jets were painting with their vapour trails across the sky.
We wandered off around the site following our interest trail paths listening out for the songs of birds as they awoke to add their tunes to the dawn chorus. We were lucky to hear a Yellow Hammer singing heartily on top of our wild hedges. The loudest songs were probably those of the many Wrens who share the allotments with us. But the noisiest birds of all were the Rooks which nest in their rookery sited in the group of mature trees close by. As the light began to appear a few scouts left the rookery and noisily flew over our heads and off into the distance. Upon their return ten minutes later they seemed to have brought news of the best place to start the day’s search for food. Slowly small groups of Rooks flew over us all flying in the same direction to return ten minutes or so later.
As the light slowly increased we heard more birds joining in the chorus, Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Dunnock, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Whitethroats and Blackcaps. We spotted Nuthatches, Treecreepers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker who searched our mature Oak and Sycamore trees for bugs to eat. Collared Doves and Wood Pigeons added their repetitive calls to the chorus and a pair of Magpies tried to spoil it all with their raucous cries. The beauty of the dawn chorus could however not be spoiled by a couple of Magpies.
We were lucky to see an orange sun rise above the surrounding trees. Young Ella at just five years old was totally speechless! We were engulfed in a golden glow.
We were lucky to be on site just as the parent birds were leaving the nest boxes. We watched in awe as the adult Blue Tits and Great Tits made so many journeys in search of food and listened to the youngsters greeting their every arrival with raucous cries. We enjoyed our free entertainment. Adults and children alike were mesmerised!
Part way around our walk we were joined by our family of ducks. A mother Mallard and her ducklings. We met them again when we reached the pond, where they swam for a while and then found a spot in the marshy end where the sun was shining for a good long preen. Can you spot them in the third of these photos?
We returned to one of our communal hubs, the one by our communal hut, where we keep our cookers, crockery and cutlery. First job was to light our fire pits to warm us up. We soon had water boiling for warming mugs of tea and coffee and the aroma of bacon frying was most welcoming. So bacon baps and warm drinks finished off a perfect morning experience together.
Time for a good laugh too!
After our breakfast there was time for young Ella to water the children’s mini-meadows, ably assisted by Wendy. It is so good to see different generations gardening together.