Woken by an early alarm, I leap out of bed and immediately open the living room window. Our local blackbird is singing his heart out, accompanied by a chaffinch and a dunnock. I eat a quick breakfast and pack my rucksack before heading out for the bus (thankfully there is a service this early in the day!). I meet with several other bleary-eyed birdwatchers at the Water of Leith Conservation Trust Centre.
caught in the trees
We wander slowly along the path, all eyes and ears open. A song thrush sings loudly at the entrance to the walkway and all the way along, the wrens are singing so loudly they almost drown out everything else. We catch sight of a tawny owl high in a tree, while a dipper flies low over the river, calling as it goes.
The blackcaps (common along here) are elusive for most of the walk, but finally they start singing, but always in the distance. A pair of bullfinches appear, the male's red breast glowing red in the low sun. Blackbirds, robins, chaffinches, chiffchaffs, blue tits and great tits join in the chorus, all singing so loudly in a mass of song, that it can be hard to identify each individual bird's song.
Squirrels are dancing in the trees as we make our way back to the Visitor Centre for coffee, the dawn chorus still ringing in our ears.