The monochrome palette of the pre-dawn light helped us pick a path around ice-crisped puddles and find a spot to place microphones, hidden by a bank and close the edge of the reed-beds.
We retreated, rolling out cable as we went and tucked ourselves out of sight and close to the hedgerow as the February sun rose into an almost clear, still sky, wisps of mist hanging like silk veils all the way to the horizon.
For an hour we watched and listened – the soft whistling of the wigeon settled on the grass; skeins of geese rising and passing overhead, heading out to their feeding grounds for the day; the chuckling of magpies investigating an owl nest-box in the adjacent paddocks and the ringing, majestic trumpeting of the cranes, drifting in echoes across the water and over the reeds.
It was magical for us. I hope this recording helps to bring some of the magic to you.