Dawn Chorus

I love the early morning, except when I have to go to work. At all other times, early morning, before people are fully awake, is the best time to take notice of your surroundings without the distractions of traffic and people. If you’re that way inclined, wildlife is more abundant. It’s the best time to photograph insects as they are still trying to warm up in the sun and so are quite sluggish. The dawn chorus welcomes in the day and when the weather is fine, you can’t beat this time of the day.

Today, Rufus and I went out to take advantage of the early morning sun. Off we headed to a relatively new location near Betws Mountain. Despite the sheep, I was able to find an area where I could let Rufus off the lead and we wander slowly through the trees towards the Upper Lliw Reservoir. All around, birds were singing but rather than a cacophony of sound, it was a gentle back drop to the trees, gently swaying in the breeze.

The sun was still low and casting an orange glow on the tree trunks. A curious lamb decided to take a closer look at Rufus (on the lead again) and me but got last minute nerves and bounded off back to its mother. In a small puddle, there were a lot of tadpoles well on their way to becoming frogs, and a number of waterboatmen floated on the surface of the water.

Through a gap in the trees, I spotted what looked like an old picnic table so on the way back we too a diversion through a rough avenue of trees and sure enough, there was a small clearing with three tables. The clearing had seen better days, it was overgrown and boggy in places and the tables were in need of some care too, but we spent a few minutes listening to the sounds of the woods and enjoying the sunshine. Rufus explored the edges of the clearing while I managed to get some snaps of a Mistle Thrush gathering grass for a nest.

Then we tried to find a path out of the clearing and managed to keep reasonably dry as we went back up the hill to the stile and the waiting car. You can’t beat a lovely early summer’s morning.

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Just a quick blog on the penultimate day of our adventure in Italy. Apart from Monday morning, the weather has been gorgeous. Almost too hot, except that the cafes all have sun shades and all seem to be placed to take advantage of the slightest breeze.

Our tick list of towns and cities is: Verona, Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Siena and Assissi. We’ve just got back from a walk from the old spa town of Chianciano Terme to the new bit where our hotel is situated. We also stayed in Lake Garda, a beautiful setting for a hotel.

My favourites have been Venice (which is growing on me hour by hour as it was a lot to take in on the day), San Gimignano, a beautiful and quiet hilltop town which managed to retain its character, and Assissi, which we visited today and which also retained character despite many tourists.

Rome tomorrow – it promises to be a hectic and tiring day. Then a very early transfer to the airport on Sunday.

No photos – too many to go through. Full match report when I’ve recovered from the holiday.