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Have you met the newest residents of Pets Corner? If you haven’t seen the new aviary residents, you may well have heard them! Our Pets Corner aviaries are now home to a number of new canaries in a variety of colours as well as some beautiful diamond doves. The new additions are settling into their new home well and can be seen and the canaries can be heard singing proudly from their perches across the aviary.

Come meet the new birds and be sure to stop to listen to a song!

Here’s one of our handsome new canaries in song:

You can hear another song here (with some chatter from our zebra finches:


Our intrepid group listen to chiffchaffs and robins singing.

Our intrepid group listen to chiffchaffs and robins singing.

An early start was required!

An early start was required!

This morning, we celebrated International Dawn Chorus Day with a dawn chorus walk led by Tower Hamlets Biodiversity Officer and keen birdwatcher John Archer. To hear the best of the birdsong, we had to get an early start, setting off just after first light at 5am. As we arrived, the birds were already singing, but the only mammals that were up and about were the foxes.

The sunrise was stunning and the birds were out singing in force across the farm, announcing their presence and staking out their territories. A fairly still morning, their song carried without interference from wind and we were lucky to see and hear over twenty species. You can hear a clip of the morning chorus below:

First light across the farm.

First light across the farm.

Dawn on the big field.

Dawn on the big field.

As the sun rose, we heard songbirds singing at full strength and our livestock slowly waking up. As they did, our chickens and pheasants joined in the chorus, as did George the donkey, much to the amusement of all!

Robins were heard singing across the farm.

Robins were heard singing across the farm.

Robins were one of the most common species found singing around the farm, with their distinctive and melodious song. You can hear one singing in the clip below:

A Great Tit rests on a fence.

A Great Tit rests on a fence.

Great tits were also seen and heard across the farm, switching from singing to foraging once the sun had risen. You can clearly hear the “tea-cher” cry in the clip below.

You can find a full list of the species we saw and heard below, as well as more photos from our morning! To find out more about the dawn chorus, visit the International Dawn Chorus Day Website. You can also hear clips of bird song at the website of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Species List – Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Blackbird Greenfinch Mute Swan
Blackcap Herring Gull Ring-necked Parakeet
Blue Tit House Sparrow Robin
Carrion Crow Lesser Black-backed Gull Song Thrush
Chiffchaff Magpie Wood Pigeon
Dunnock Mallard Wren
European Starling Mistle Thrush
Great Tit Monk Parakeet

Thank you to all who joined us early this morning for a dawn chorus walk around the farm and to John Archer who led our walk. Birds were singing at full strength in the morning sunshine, which was shining brightly already by 5:30am. Wrens and robins were certainly among the most prevalent and conspicuous singers, but we also heard great tits, blue tits, black caps, monk parakeets, mistle thrushes, greenfinches, dunnocks, chiffchaffs and more. We even spotted a greater spotted woodpecker and grey heron flying overhead. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day!

For those who couldn’t join us, you can get a glimpse of the sights and sounds of this morning in the brief clips below and the gallery on the next page.

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