Dawn Chorus – Sunday, 9th May 2020 (aka Lockdown Daily Exercise)

Sandall Beat Wood SSSI 4.30am – 6.00am

Recorders: Louise Hill, Tim Prosser

Route – The Woodman’s Trail www.visitdoncaster.com/100-things/23-walk-covills-trail-through-sandall-beat-wood
The route was walked clockwise. There are 20 different listening stations at regular intervals on the route, starting and ending in the straight mile car park.

Weather Conditions: Low mists and a full moon over Doncaster Common. Light enough to read by on commencement. Patchy cloud cover. Overnight temperatures not too low but much cooler than the previous week. There was water in the main ride drains but the drains around The Fen were dry.

We recorded 20 species (plus the cockerel crowing at Sandall Beat Riding Stables as usual!):

Blue Tit
Carrion Crow
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Sedge/Reed Warbler (?)
Song Thrush
Wood Pigeon

Green Woodpecker was only heard whilst walking between listening stations.

A Buzzard flew silently overhead whilst returning to the car park at the end of the walk.

I thought that the Nuthatch was not going to put in an appearance but it managed to get in to the records at the very last recording station. Sadly no Treecreeper were seen or heard this time and, rather unusually, no Jays.

For the second year in a row there was no Tawny Owl calls heard. The bank holiday had moved due to VE Day so perhaps the slightly later date of the visit meant that Tawny’s had stopped being so vocal. The blackbird chorus was in full swing when we set off from Wheatley Hills at 4.25am and it was already light at the start of the walk.