Dawn Chorus Walk (7th May 2023)

With Sunday 7th May being 2023 International Dawn Chorus Day,  it was fitting that we held our annual Dawn Chorus on this date.  Leader Graham Gill welcomed two other Dronfield Natural History Group members, Charles and Malcolm, and eight DFBS members at 4.30 am at the Blackamoor Nature Reserve Car Park near Fox House.  Still dark, our first bird heard was a Curlew calling from the moors across the road. Next were the more usual early choristers such as Song Thrush,  Blackbird and Wren. We then headed into the woodland that runs parallel to the road and added to the list steadily, stopping to listen as we went, and in the still gloomy light managed to spot a Mallard flying over.

At the end of the wood we then turned right and descended the valley path towards Totley Bents and as the light improved we started to see some flora and fungi.  These were added to the list along with Red Grouse, Pheasant, Robin and several Warblers and then about half way down we started to hear a Cuckoo. He continued calling for a good 10 or 15 minutes as we made our way down to where the path levels out.  It was here we saw a lovely patch of Woodland Horsetails, Yellow Archangel and some large examples of Hoof Fungus.

We then took another right turn to cross the stream over the stepping stones and began the steady climb up to our coffee stop at a junction of paths and some bench seats.  Continuing after the stop we saw a Mistle Thrush flying over our heads and as we came out into more open grassland two Buzzards were circling on the near horizon to our left.  A Skylark was then seen descending and after a short stop on the ground rising again into the air. We also spotted a Wheatear on a drystone wall over to our left.  A detour off the path took us to a wall overlooking the reserve where we managed to spot both Roe Deer and Red Deer in the distance.  Returning to the path a Swallow flew over quite low, (a first sighting of the year for some) and then probably our sighting of the day, a Snipe, flying over.  A good morning all round for birds heard and seen, we made our way back to the car park. From here 7 of the party made their way back to Dronfield for a well earned breakfast at The Bowshaw at 8.00am.

Here’s what we spotted along the way


Curlew, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Mallard, Wren, Blue Tit, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackcap, Great Tit, Willow Warbler,  Garden Warbler, Cuckoo, Chiffchaff,  Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush,   Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Wheatear, Swallow, Snipe


Daisy,  Dandelion, Jack-by-the-Hedge,   Bluebell, Woodland Horsetail, Greater Stitchwort, Forget-Me-Not, Yellow Archangel, Thyme-leaved Speedwell,   Cow Parsley,  Hairy Bittercress, Dog Violet, Ribwort Plantain, Wood Speedwell, Herb Robert, Lesser Celandine, Bilberry


Birch Polypore, Many Zoned Polypore, Coral Spot, Hoof Fungus,  Dryad’s Saddle.


Roe Deer, Red Deer.